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Kosovo-Serbia talks scheduled for Wednesday cancelled by EU

Other News Materials 20 July 2011 01:41
A European Union mediator on Tuesday decided to scrap a planned round of talks between Serbia and Kosovo, planned for the next day in Brussels, because he did not expect them to produce any results.
Kosovo-Serbia talks scheduled for Wednesday cancelled by EU

A European Union mediator on Tuesday decided to scrap a planned round of talks between Serbia and Kosovo, planned for the next day in Brussels, because he did not expect them to produce any results, DPA reported.

The parties had been expected to sign a handful of agreements, including one on custom stamps that would have allowed Kosovan goods to be exported through Serbia. EU diplomats said the Serbian side was not ready to sign up to it.

"There's really no point in holding a meeting unless we are going to be able to reach an agreement on something and it was clear that that was not going to happen tomorrow," Robert Cooper, a senior advisor to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said in a video statement.

Cooper, who is chairing the talks, said another round would be held in Brussels in September.

Under EU pressure, Serbia has agreed to hold talks with its former province on matters of practical cooperation, leaving aside the question of Pristina's independence, which Belgrade refuses to recognize.

By bowing to EU demands, Belgrade hopes to be rewarded with the start of accession talks to the bloc next year. Kosovo, for its part, is bidding for the EU to launch negotiations on scrapping visas.

The two sides signed their first-ever cooperation deals since Kosovo declared independence in 2008 earlier this month, as they agreed to recognize each other's ID cards and school diplomas, and share information from civil registries.

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