No Date Set for Continuing Dialogue Between Kosovo and Serbia

Posted October 11th, 2011 at 2:50 pm (UTC-5)
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European Union mediator Robert Cooper has ended his tour of Belgrade and Pristina without securing a date for the continuation of stalled talks between Serbia and Kosovo.

After meeting with Cooper Tuesday, Kosovo's chief negotiator Edita Tahiri said dialogue would continue but that they had not agreed on a date. Tahiri added that Pristina would not discuss its internal affairs with neighboring countries.

She was referring to Serbia's demand for a shift of focus to tensions in Kosovo. Serbia has repeatedly said it will not negotiate with Kosovo before the unrest in the north is resolved.

The EU has been trying since March to facilitate negotiations between the two sides in a bid to resolve issues stemming from Kosovo's secession from Serbia in 2008. Those talks fell apart in September after violence broke out in northern Kosovo, which is populated mostly by ethnic Serbs, following Pristina's moves to assert control over the area.

European leaders warned Serbia that it must make progress in talks with Kosovo and stop interfering in the north before it can move closer to EU membership.

Ethnic Serbs reject Kosovo's authority and consider the region part of Serbia despite Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence.