TURKEY

Serbia, Kosovo agree 'new phase of dialogue'

SERBIA, KOSOVO AGREE NEW PHASE OF DIALOGUE

The EU confirmed on Monday that Serbia and Kosovo have agreed to work on a "new phase of dialogue" for normalization.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo's President Hashim Thaci had "agreed to work on starting a new phase of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina for normalization of relations and reconciliation".

Following an informal meeting with the pair in Brussels, Mogherini said Vucic and Thaci decided their respective teams should start working on preparations.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 but Belgrade insists the country remains part of Serbia. Since then tensions have remained between Kosovo's ethnic-Albanian majority and a small Serb minority in the north.

Kosovo is a former Serbian province with nearly 1.8 million people, over 90 percent of whom are Kosovar Albanians.

It is recognized by over 100 countries, including the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and Turkey.

Serbia, Russia and China are among the countries that have not yet recognized Kosovo's independence.

Both Serbia and Kosovo have new leaderships. Kosovo seems to be heading towards an uneasy coalition after official results of its June 11 parliamentary elections showed no party won enough votes to win a clear majority.

Serbia recently installed a new cabinet, including its first female and openly-gay premier, Ana Brnabic.

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