Past Prime Minister Forms New Kosovo Government

Ramush Haradinaj takes an oath with the new members of the Kosovo government in Pristina on Sept. 9, 2017.

Photographer: Armen Nimani/AFP/Getty Images

Former Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj formed a new government on Saturday, ending months of political stalemate in Europe’s youngest country with a vow to step up his nation’s European Union accession efforts.

Haradinaj, 49, a former guerrilla chief backed by a narrow majority of 62 of 120 lawmakers, will lead a coalition dominated by the Democratic Party of Kosovo, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, and the Initiative of Kosovo, which all emerged from the 1998-1999 conflict with Serbia, along with a dozen smaller parties and backed by the Lista Srpska group of Serbian lawmakers.

The EU is sponsoring talks between Kosovo and Serbia as the former foes seek to mend ties and join the world’s largest trading group. The bloc had urged the coalition to “form the new government as soon as possible, so that urgent reforms necessary for Kosovo to advance on its EU accession agenda can be addressed,” EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said.

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