Cooperation talks between Serbia and Kosovo reopened in Brussels on Wednesday to end a stand-off that could hinder Serbian efforts to join the EU.
It follows clashes on the border between the two countries earlier this week that left at least thirty NATO peacekeepers wounded.
The European Union wants Belgrade to recognise Kosovo’s independence if it is to have any chance of joining the bloc.
“Candidacy is important for our country but it’s not the main reason why we have these talks,” said Serbia’s lead negotiator Borko Stefanovic.
Edita Tahiri, the head of Kosovo’s negotiating team, called on Serbia “to accept the reality” that the international community accepts Kosovo as a sovereign state.
Tensions have been running high since July when Kosovo Albanian police tried to seize two border crossings in the north.
Northern Kosovo is home to some 60,000 Kosovar Serbs, who pledge their allegiance to Belgrade.