Serbian politician killed; Belgrade suspends talks in Brussels

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They planned to discuss the issues of vehicle register plates and functioning of the bridge in Kosovska Mitrovica that divides the northern Serbian and southern Albanian parts of the city.

An unknown gunman shot Ivanovic outside his office in north Mitrovica, a Serb enclave in Kosovo, on Tuesday morning.

Officials said Oliver Ivanović, the leader of the Citizen's Initiative Party, was killed in Mitrovica, a city divided among ethnic lines as tensions continue between Albanians and Serbs.

A Kosovo court convicted Ivanović of war crimes during the 1998-99 war. But the verdict was later overturned and a retrial was ordered.

He had publicly spoken out against Belgrade's policies in Kosovo, which Serbia still claims as a province despite its independence declaration in 2008.

Afterward, he called the killing "a terrorist act" and said Serbia is demanding that worldwide missions in Kosovo include Serbia in their investigation into the slaying. He was taken to a hospital but doctors failed to revive him.

Serbian government negotiators walked out of EU-mediated talks with Kosovo Albanians in Brussels after the news.

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"Whoever is behind this attack. whether Albanian, Serb or any other criminals, they have to be punished, they have to be brought to justice", Djuric said.

"The killing of Oliver Ivanovic challenges the law and any attempt to establish law and order throughout the entire territory of Kosovo", it said in a statement. He was the leader of the Party "Freedom, Democracy, Justice" during those years.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called the presidents of Serbia and Kosovo to express the EU's condemnation of the killing.

Rapporteur on Kosovo in the European Union, Igor Sholtes has also condemned the murder of the Serb politician from Kosovo, Oliver Ivanovic, demanding an investigation of this murder.

"He was a voice of moderation and a voice of dialogue", said William Nash, a former United Nations civilian administrator in Mitrovica who worked closely with Ivanovic shortly after Serbia withdrew its troops from the region.

Police arrested him in 2014 and two years later Ivanovic was convicted of war crimes by a panel of worldwide judges for ordering the murder of nine ethnic Albanians in April 1999.

Ivanovic was a Kosovo MP during 2001-2004. He had been president of the SDP (Freedom, Democracy, Justice) Civic Initiative that ran candidates in local elections in Kosovo a year ago.

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