Europe

Kosovo president: election a test of maturity

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga says this weekend's local election will test the country's political maturity as it seeks peace with Serbia and aspires to eventual membership in the European Union.

Jahjaga told The Associated Press a day ahead of Sunday's vote that the participation of Serbs in the election for the first time since Kosovo's 2008 secession from Serbia will help integrate the minority community that has defied Pristina's rule.

Serbia and Kosovo have agreed in talks mediated by the European Union to smooth over their differences as a condition to move closer to the bloc and unlock EU funds. However, many Serbs in Kosovo brand the election as treason while some ethnic Albanians believe the vote paves the way for Kosovo's ethnic partition because it gives Serbs more self-rule.

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