Serbia, Kosovo talks fail to reach deal

ar 21, 2013 – 01:31

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Serbia and Kosovo failed to reach an agreement on Wednesday to end the ethnic partition of the former Serbian province, but European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she hoped a new round of talks next month would seal a deal.

Ashton said after hosting lengthy talks in Brussels between Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci that the talks would resume on April 2.

“We will, I hope, reach conclusions on April 2,” she said at a late-night news conference.

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said last week the two sides were “never closer” to settling their differences after several rounds of EU-mediated talks.

The clock is now ticking towards a mid-April progress report by Ashton that will decide whether the EU launches membership talks with Serbia, a major milestone in the country’s recovery from Yugoslavia’s bloody collapse and a vital signal of stability to much-needed investors.

Majority-Albanian Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, almost a decade after NATO bombs wrested control of the territory from late Serb strongman Slobodan Milosevic to halt a brutal counter-insurgency war.

But Belgrade retained de facto control over a small Serb pocket of northern Kosovo, and says it will never recognise its former southern province as a sovereign state.

The status of the Serb north, where Kosovo’s government has very little presence, is at the heart of EU-mediated negotiations aimed at “normalising ties” between the two.


Categories: Europe

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1 reply

  1. As Kosovo does not really have much – if any – control on the Serbian enclave in Northern Kosovo, why not just let them decide whether they want to join Serbia. Just my personal view …

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