Serbia calls off EU-backed talks on Kosovo

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Serbia calls off EU-backed talks on Kosovo

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EU-backed talks between Serbia and Kosovo have been called off as tension mounts near the north Kosovan border.

Belgrade asked for negotiations to be postponed after fresh clashes left four NATO troops and six Serb protesters wounded on Tuesday.

Northern Kosovo is home to some 60,000 Serbs. They reject the Pristina government’s authority and its moves to control the border.

NATO troops, known as KFOR forces, are stationed there to keep the peace.

Kosovar Serbs have been trying to block border crossings and open routes of their own.

Kosovo broke away from Serbia three years ago but Belgrade refuses to recognise its independence.

It has been recognised by at least 80 countries, including the United States and 22 EU members.

Emerging powers such as Russia, China, India and Brazil have so far refused to back Kosovo’s self-declared split.

Brokering a deal over Kosovo is a key part of Serbia’s bid to join the European Union.