Germany's Special Representative for the Western Balkans Manuel Sarrazin said on July 14 that the forming of an Association/Community of Serb-majority Municipalities in the north of Kosovo was important for the international community and that the current situation was negatively affecting the European perspective of the entire region.
In a statement for the Serbian Broadcasting Corporation, Sarrazin said the situation needed to calm down and the parties should return to implementation of the Ohrid agreement. The Kosovo authorities' announcement of a reduced presence in northern Kosovo is just a first small positive step in that direction, he added.
The EU has established a clear three-point plan which entails zero presence of special police forces in the north and near municipal administration buildings, and a 25 percent reduction is a step toward that but is obviously not fulfillment of the Union's demands, said Sarrazin.
According to him, both sides need to calm the situation down and the Ohrid agreement, which is "not perfect" but is a great chance for resolving the current impasse, needs to be implemented.
He added that the EU was asking Pristina to relocate mayors from municipal administration buildings to other facilities and to remove police forces, as well as to hold elections for four mayors with the participation of the Serb List party.
On the subject of relations between Germany and Serbia, Sarrazin said there were political differences, such as the stance on Russia, but added that relations were nevertheless good despite a difficult past.