Kosovo and Serbia on 26 August 2015 agreed to implement the 2013 Brussels Agreement paving the way for normalizing the relations between both the countries.
The First agreement of principles governing the normalisation of relations or more famously known as the Brussels Agreement was reached between both the countries under the mediation of the European Union on 19 April 2013 in Brussels, Belgium.
Key Features of Brussels Agreement
• Autonomy to Northern Areas: Serbs in northern Kosovo will enjoy greater rights. Kosovo has a majority Albanian population, but under the agreement ten areas with large Serb populations will be able to manage issues such as the local economy and education. Further, Serb Municipalities would have an assembly, president and a flag.
• Kosovo will have a separate international dialing code. It will put an end to the inconvenience for Kosovo's mobile phone users of using Monaco or Slovenia international codes. However, Serbian-majority areas in the north will still be able to use Serbian calling codes.
• The two sides also agreed on how to share the symbolic Mitrovica Bridge (on Ibar River) that separates Albanian and Serb communities in the north.
Before becoming an independent nation in 2008, Kosovo was a province in the southern part of Serbia.
While Kosovo as a whole is inhabitated by Albanian Muslim population, the northern parts have majority Serbian population. The varying demographic profile within Kosovo often led to tensions between both the countries especially along the border areas.
The decision to implement the Brussels Agreement will pave the way for diffusing troubled relations between both countries that are underway since the formation of Kosovo.
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When: Agreed on 26 August 2015