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EU urges 'appropriate language' after Serb leader comment

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AFP Brussels
The EU said Thursday it expects world leaders to use "appropriate language", after Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic was caught on camera joking about the bloc's diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini kissing the Kosovo president.
As Mogherini greeted Balkan leaders before a working dinner in Brussels on Tuesday, she gave Kosovo President Hashim Thaci the customary kiss on each cheek, prompting Vucic to quip in Serbian: "Hashim, Federica likes to kiss you the most."

Mogherini has led the European Union's efforts to improve ties between Serbia and Kosovo -- a former Serbian province whose independence Belgrade refuses to recognise -- in recent years, with limited success.
Asked about Vucic's remarks, Mogherini's spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic stressed that they came during an "informal exchange" and insisted the working dinner took place in a "constructive atmosphere".
But she added: "We always expect every leader in the world to use appropriate language, as we do in return."

Serbia and Kosovo still have a hostile relationship two decades after their 1998-99 war, with former Kosovo prime minister Ramush Haradinaj bringing their EU-led dialogue to a halt after he imposed a 100-percent tariff on Serbian goods in November last year.
In the Balkans, coverage of Tuesday's event focused on the apparent repartee between bitter foes Vucic and Thaci, rather than the sexist nature of the Serbian leader's remarks.

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First Published: Oct 31 2019 | 8:25 PM IST

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