The UN General Assembly has ruled that Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia was legal and has unanimously adopted a resolution for talks between the pair.
Belgrade is adamant that it will never recognise Kosovo’s independence but has been forced to the table to keep its EU ambitions alive.
The feeling in the Serbian capital suggests Serbia had no choice but to accept the ruling:
One resident said: “I think a compromise was inevitable in this situation, considering our position in the world. I don’t think we had a choice.”
Negotiations between Pristina and Belgrade will be mediated by the EU.
Many observers believe that Serbia’s desire to join the EU is greater than the country’s wish to hold on to Kosovo.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton wants both parties to go forward together:
“They will talk, they will move forward. But I believe for both there is a desire to move now into the future. We believe the future is a European future.”
Ashton is currently attending a two-day meeting of the European foreign ministers in Brussels.