Kosovo and its Serb minority reach deal on contested wall

The Kosovo government says it's reached a deal with the country's ethnic Serb minority to resolve the issue of a concrete wall erected in the northern city of Mitrovica that has provoked tensions between Kosovo and neighboring Serbia.

A statement Saturday said the "solution will lower the tensions in northern Kosovo" but did not specify what it was or how it would ease tensions. It said the resolution was facilitated by the European Union and the United States embassy.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but Serbia has not recognized it as a separate country, seeking to maintain influence in northern Kosovo where most of the Serb minority lives. Tensions between the two Balkan nations started with the wall in December and have escalated with later incidents.