Fri, 07 May 2021

The leaders of Kosovo and Serbia will hold talks in Brussels on July 12, reviving European Union-backed negotiations that ground to a halt in 2018, a European Commission spokesman said.

The meeting between Kosovar Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic will resume "the work on reaching a comprehensive and legally binding agreement on the normalization" of bilateral relations, Peter Stano said on July 6.

The meeting will be hosted by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell. It will follow a video summit on July 10, hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel aimed at easing tensions between Kosovo and Serbia.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a move Serbia has not recognized.

The United States and the European Union have been working to help normalize ties between the two countries and resolve one of the last major standoffs in the Balkans after the 1998-1999 war and a NATO intervention to stop a bloody Serbian crackdown against Kosovar Albanian separatists.

The EU-supervised talks began in 2011 and have produced some 30 agreements, but most of them have not been observed.

Some EU countries haven't recognized Kosovo's independence.

The United States sought to host talks in the White House last month, but Hoti pulled out after international prosecutors indicted Kosovar President Hashim Thaci on war crimes charges.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, dpa

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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