France's foreign ministry said on Tuesday that it was vital stability was restored in northern Kosovo immediately given its importance to European security after Serbia put the army on the highest level of combat alert.

Around 25 NATO peacekeeping soldiers defending three town halls in northern Kosovo were injured in clashes with Serb protesters on Monday.

France's ambassador is one of several Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic will meet on Tuesday as [part of efforts to restore calm.

"It is more essential than ever for Pristina and for Belgrade to show responsibility by returning to the negotiating table with an attitude of compromise in the service of peace and the prosperity of the Serbian and Kosovar citizens," Foreign ministry spokesperson Anne-Claire Legendre said in a statement.

She called on both parties, in particular the government of Kosovo, to immediately take the necessary measures to reduce tensions.

"We cannot accept that regional stability be put in danger given the critical international context. This is a matter of European security," she said.

The tense situation, the latest in a long history of flare ups, developed after ethnic Albanian mayors took office in northern Kosovo's Serb majority area after elections the Serbs boycotted. (Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Giles Elgood)