Kosovo authorities bear responsibility for unrest that has increased sharply since ethnic Albanian mayors took office in the country's northern Serb-majority area, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday (May 31), Reuters reports.
During a meeting with Slovak President Zuzana Caputova, Macron told a press conference in Bratislava that he hoped to meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia later this week.
Regional unrest has intensified following April elections that the Serbs boycotted, narrowing the turnout to 3.5% and leaving victory in four Serb-majority Kosovan mayoralties to ethnic Albanian candidates.
Northern Kosovo's majority Serbs have never accepted Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia, and consider Belgrade their capital, more than two decades after the Kosovo Albanian uprising against repressive Serbian rule.
Ethnic Albanians make up more than 90% of the population in Kosovo as a whole, but northern Serbs have long demanded the implementation of an EU-brokered 2013 deal for the creation of an association of autonomous municipalities in their area.