Kosovo president urges approval of Montenegro border deal

Kosovo's president has urged political parties to intensify efforts to ratify a border demarcation deal with Montenegro which is set as a precondition by the European Union for a visa-free regime for the country's citizens.

In his end-of-year speech to parliament Friday, Hashim Thaci urged all local actors to speed up efforts to find a solution "within the next weeks."

The 2015 deal has been contested by the opposition, which says Kosovo is ceding territory — a claim denied by the previous government and international experts. The protesters disrupted parliamentary work, using tear gas canisters, blowing whistles and throwing water bottles.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which Belgrade has not recognized.