First-round direct talks between Belgrade and Pristina end

16:45, March 10, 2011      

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The first round of direct talks between Belgrade and Pristina in three years opened the door for future dialogue, reported the Serbian news agency Tanjug on Wednesday.

Two days of meetings between Serbian and Kosovo delegations ended in Brussels on Wednesday, mediated by EU envoy Robert Cooper. Belgrade's six-member team was headed by Borko Stefanovic from the Serbian Foreign Ministry, while Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister Edita Tahiri led Pristina's eight-member delegation.

The EU asked the two delegations to set aside the most contentious issues between them and instead focus on removing " obstacles that have a daily impact on people's lives, to improve cooperation, and to achieve progress on the path to Europe," according to an official statement.

Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Serbia continues to challenge the secession of its southern province, and exercises considerable control in the northern regions of Kosovo where the majority Serb population lives.

The agenda of this first round of talks included civil and land registry books, air traffic control, telecommunications, customs stamps and the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA). Serbia currently blocks all exports marked "Republic of Kosovo."

The meetings reportedly took place in "a constructive and cordial atmosphere," with both sides agreeing to continue the dialogue in the near future.

Source: Xinhua

 
 
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