Serbia, Kosovo agree way forward on plan to normalize ties

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According to media reports, Serbia and Kosovo agreed in principle on Wednesday on a plan to implement an historic accord to settle their relations, a step that strengthens Serbia’s chances of getting the go-ahead next month to start talks on joining the European Union. Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and his Kosovo counterpart, Hashim Thaci, reached the draft agreement in two days of talks in Brussels, chaired by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. The two leaders will consult other political leaders in their home countries before giving their final verdict on the plan, which sets out concrete steps for putting into practice a groundbreaking agreement to normalize relations which was agreed in April. Serbia agreed on April 19 to cede its last remaining foothold in its former province of Kosovo in return for the prospect of talks on eventually joining the EU. The agreement outlined an end to the ethnic partition of Kosovo between its Albanian majority and a small, Belgrade-backed pocket of some 50,000 Serbs in the north.

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