EU to broker new round of Serbia-Kosovo normalisation talks

The EU said Friday it will host fresh talks next week between prime ministers Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia and Isa Mustafa of Kosovo as part of efforts to normalise their ties.

Brussels: The EU said Friday it will host fresh talks next week between prime ministers Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia and Isa Mustafa of Kosovo as part of efforts to normalise their ties.

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini will meet the two leaders in Brussels on Tuesday to promote the dialogue between the two neighbours which are at odds over Pristina`s 2008 unilateral declaration of independence from Belgrade.

The three will "review the progress in the implementation of the agreements reached in the dialogue and exchange views on the way forward in the normalisation process," the EU`s diplomatic service said in a statement.

During their last meeting on February 10, the two prime ministers agreed to setting up a judicial structure in northern Kosovo acceptable to both the minority ethnic Serbs and majority Kosovars, who are ethnic Albanians, the EU said.

The ethnic Serb community in the north has resisted the authority of Pristina.

Serbia refuses to recognise Kosovo as an independent state, but in 2013 Pristina and Belgrade signed an EU-brokered agreement to normalise ties.

This enabled Belgrade to start EU accession talks a year later.

The accord was the first breakthrough since the 1998-1999 Kosovo war, which ended after Serbian armed forces withdrew from the territory following an 11-week NATO bombing campaign.

More than 100 countries, including the United States and most of the EU`s 28 member states, have recognised Kosovo`s independence.