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Serbia-Kosovo dialogue may restart next month

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Serbia-Kosovo dialogue may restart next month


Dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo could restart as early as next month, according to the Serbian Prime Minister. Talks were suspended last May, ahead of the Serbian elections.

Pristina declared independence unilaterally in 2008 but Belgrade does not accept this.

A top-level EU-US delegation is on a tour of the Balkans. Speaking in Belgrade, the EU head of diplomacy Catherine Ashton says relations between the two countries must be put on a more workable footing:

“The dialogue with Pristina and normalisation of relations, as we call it, which is not asking of recognition, is really important. There are no other realistic or better alternatives and things will not get easier if difficult discussions are simply put off. This is good for Serbia, and it’s good for Kosovo.”

Serbia has made it clear that talks could restart, but with conditions attached. The Serbian Prime Minister told reporters his country is ready for dialogue but will not recognise Kosovan independence. “The speed of Serbia’s accession to the EU should be addressed,” said Ivica Dacic, “and the Serb minority in Northern Kosovo must participate.”

Several agreements have been signed since May 2011, and Brussels and Washington want them put into operation. The diplomatic delegation arrived in Pristina on Tuesday evening, ready for talks with the leaders of Kosovo on Wednesday.

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