Kosovo Nationalists Pelt EU Envoy With Fruit

Activists from the Vetevendosje [Self-determination] movement threw tomatoes at an EU delegation, which came to discuss the continuation of Kosovo’s dialogue with Serbia.Hundreds of activists from the opposition Vetevendosja Movement protested and threw rotten tomatoes at the delegation led by the European Union envoy for the Pristina-Belgrade dialogue, Robert Cooper.Activists held up banners reading “Stop the dialogue,” “Serbia finances illegal structures in Kosovo,” “No negotiations, Self-determination,”and “Serbia has never apologized for the crimes it committed”.

No one was hurt during the protest, which was led by the movement’s head, Albin Kurti, and two other MPs, Visar Ymeri and Albulena Haxhiu, which occurred as the diplomat was entering the Kosovo government building.

“We protested against the paternalistic and restrictive approach of the EU representative, Robert Cooper, and against the servile and shameful attitude of Kosovo government officials,” read a press release by Vetevendosje after the protest.The EU envoy visited Pristina on Thursday after going to Belgrade. His schedule and the topics to be discussed with Kosovo officials were not disclosed.

EU-mediated talks started in March 2010 aimed at normalising relations between Kosovo and Serbia, both of which share a desire to join the EU one day.

The two sides have reached deals on trade, freedom of movement, cadastral registry and mutual recognition of university diplomas. However, Kosovo has accused Serbia of putting most of the agreements on hold.

The office of Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, issued a press release after the meeting with the EU envoy, saying that such incidents damaged Kosovo’s image.

“Irresponsible persons threw tomatoes at Mr Cooper. Prime Minister Hashim Thaci condemns this act, which damages the European image of the Republic of Kosovo,” reads the press release.

No one was arrested.

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