“Kosovo police fired tear gas on Monday to scatter hundreds of nationalist Serb protesters outside a round-table meeting on improving relations between Belgrade and Pristina, and briefly detained a hardline Serbian government official.

The incident occurred in the town of Mitrovica in a volatile, mainly minority Serb pocket of northern Kosovo still unreconciled to the independence a decade ago of the ethnic Albanian-majority country from Serbia.

The round table was part of a dialogue towards normalisation Serbia is conducting with Kosovo, its former province that went to war against repressive Serbian rule in the late 1990s, to help fulfil conditions for European Union membership.

 But shortly after the round table began, Marko Djuric, head of the Serbian government office on Kosovo, was detained by police because he had been banned from entering the country over nationalist remarks Pristina regarded as inflammatory.

Kosovo police also fired tear gas to disperse local Serbs who gathered outside the meeting venue in protest.” (Reuters)