Coming up

Don't miss




Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more


Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more


2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more


Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more


The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more


The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more


Politics: parties under pressure

Read more


In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • Hamas and Israel sustain fire despite missed targets

    Read more

  • The third-place playoff: the World Cup game no one wants to play

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Legal challenge to French mayor’s ban of Muslim hijab on beach

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Kerry holds all-night talks with Afghan presidential rivals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

  • Are French high school students getting smarter?

    Read more


Kosovo talks stall over future of Serb minority


Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-04-03

Serbia and Kosovo failed to strike a deal on defusing tensions at a last round of EU-backed talks Wednesday in Brussels. A main point of contention remains the future of the Serb minority in Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008.

Serbia and Kosovo failed Wednesday to find common ground on how to defuse longstanding tensions at marathon EU-sponsored talks, but the door appeared still open for further discussions, officials said.

The latest round of talks in Brussels -- the eighth and last, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said afterwards -- was aimed at normalising relations between Serbia and breakaway Kosovo, paving the way to eventual EU membership.

But after more than 12 hours of talks, the two sides left without striking any deal.

"The gap between the two sides is very narrow but deep," Ashton, who chaired the talks, said in a statement.

"This is the last time we will meet formally," she added, saying "a number of proposals were put on the table."

Serb Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and his Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaci will now return home for consultations "and will let me know in the next few days of their decision."

Ashton gave no details of the proposals discussed and did not explain what decision she expected from the two sides.

"I wish them a good journey home and every possible success in reaching a conclusion," she said in her brief statement.

Serbia's Dacic said separately that despite the lengthy meeting, "we do not have an agreement at this moment."

Holding out the prospect of further exchanges, however, Dacic told Serb media: "We still have a certain amount of time ahead to reach the solution."

According to the website of Serbian state broadcaster RTS, Kosovo Premier Thaci said it would be "possible to continue talks next week if Serbia agrees with our principles."

It was not immediately clear if he expected these to be under EU auspices, while Ashton's remarks suggested that no formal meeting in Brussels is envisaged.

The main sticking point in the talks, which got under way late last year, has been the future of the Serb minority living in Kosovo, especially the north, since it declared independence in 2008.

Majority ethnic Albanian Kosovo has since then won recognition from around 100 countries, including the United States and most EU member states.

Serbia and Serbs living in Kosovo continue to reject Pristina's declaration of independence, with the focus on the some 40,000 Serbs in the north.

Both sides earlier agreed to establish an association of Serb municipalities, but Kosovo refuses to grant it the executive and judicial powers demanded by Serbia.

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic on Monday said recent statements from Kosovo were "not encouraging".

"We must ensure the rights (for the association) are guaranteed not only by an agreement between Belgrade and Pristina, but also by the international community, primarily through the EU in its role as a mediator," Nikolic said.

Kosovo fears in turn that a large degree of autonomy for the north runs the risk the area would eventually break away.

Progress at the talks had been seen as essential to keeping the momentum going, with Ashton saying Monday she expected them to be "conclusive".

Washington meanwhile stressed the importance for Kosovo and Serbia to "move forward both in democratic terms, in economic terms and on their path for European integration."

The European Commission is due to issue a report on the negotiations on April 16, which will be forwarded to EU leaders for consideration at their end-June summit.

Serbia was hoping that once a deal was agreed, it would be given a date to start EU accession talks at the summit in June, while the European Commission has said Kosovo could get an agreement on an association accord at the same time.



Date created : 2013-04-03


    Kosovo's former prime minister cleared of war crimes

    Read more

  • Kosovo

    West ends supervised independence of Kosovo

    Read more


    Kosovo Serbs defy EU and Serbia in referendum

    Read more