Kosovo and Serbia ‘happy’ on progress

Kosovo and Serbia ‘happy’ on progress

BRUSSELS - Agence France-Presse
Kosovo and Serbia ‘happy’ on progress

Serbian PM Ivica Dacic. AP photo

The EU said Feb. 20 that significant progress has been made in talks with Serbia and Kosovo aimed at defusing tensions in one of Europe’s last trouble-spots, having demanded concrete results from the two parties.

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said a fifth series of talks she chaired with Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci had gone well, with all sides pleased at the outcome and another meeting set for March 4.

The two premiers “met on Feb. 19 and 20 in the framework of the EU-facilitated dialogue for the normalization of relations and had in-depth discussions,” Ashton said in a statement. “The prime ministers are pleased with the significant progress they have made, as am I,” she added, without elaborating further.

 Dacic and Thaci met separately and then jointly with Ashton in talks the EU has brokered since 2011 in a bid to ease simmering tensions after Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008.

Belgrade has staunchly refused to recognize Pristina’s independence but most of the EU’s 27 member states have done so.