World Bulletin/News Desk
Kosovo said on Saturday it had rejected a request from Serbia's president to visit his ethnic kin to mark Orthodox Christmas, saying the ban was in response to Belgrade's refusal to let Kosovo officials visit Serbia.
Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic had asked to attend an Orthodox Christmas mass on Monday at Gracanica monastery in a Serb enclave just a few kilometers from the capital Pristina.
"We will use reciprocity measures, if our officials are not allowed to go to Serbia certainly we will apply the same measures," Kosovo Interior Minister Bajram Rexhepi said at a news conference on Saturday.
Serbia and its former Kosovo province fought a war in 1998-99, which ended when NATO intervened with 78 days of air strikes to drive out Serb forces. Kosovo, whose population is mostly Muslim ethnic Albanian, declared independence in 2008, which Serbia does not recognise.
While several Serb ministers have been denied entry to Kosovo, some top officials - including former president Boris Tadic - have been allowed to attend religious festivals in the past.
But a senior government official said the most recent rejection came after four Kosovo government ministers were denied entry to Serbia during 2012.
Last Christmas, Kosovo Albanian protesters hurled stones at a motorcade carrying former president Tadic when he visited a monastery in western Kosovo.
Nikolic, a former head of the ruling nationalist Serbian Progressive Party, has accused European Union authorities in Kosovo of bias by letting Kosovo authorities to decide whether the Serb leader could visit Kosovo.
An Israeli army commander has made shocking threats to Palestinian youth held in the Al-Duheisha, threatening that he will “make all the youth of the camp disabled,” according to a Palestinian rights group, reported by the Middle East Monitor
Hillary Clinton has received the first classified intelligence briefing Saturday morning
Japan has pledged to give $30 billion as an investment to Africa by 2018
Egyptian authorities to reopen Rafah crossing on Tuesday for three consecutive days
Incumbent President Ali Bongo faces stiff competition from former African Union Commission
Spanish authorities have cracked down on an illegal ring that involves Chinese domestic staff
Scots drive to put Israel's West Bank wall on the Google Map as fall-out from Celtic fans Palestinian flag protest simmers
Turkish president expresses sadness in call to Italian counterpart, extends his condolences to the families of victims killed in early Wednesday earthquake with a mass funeral is held today for 34 of the 284 people killed
Prime Minister-designate Youssef Chahed's new unity government wins votes of confidence in parliament.
Time to ‘choose engagement over isolation’ senior government minister
At least 16 people have died in a fire at a warehouse in Moscow, authorities have said.
Ex-Bush adviser Paul Wolfowitz slams Trump who has joined a chorus of “neocons” in distancing themselves from the Republicans' current nominee.
Participants perform shows during Maghreb Riding Festival in Bou Hajla town of Kairouan, Tunisia today on August 26, 2016.
White House spokesman anticipates Obamas 'would make a financial contribution to continue supporting' Kayla’s Hands
American travelers still face restrictions on travel to Caribbean island
Donald Trump’s personal physician has that he wrote a now-infamous medical report about the candidate in just five minutes.