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EU 'back in the driver's seat' as Serbia-Kosovo talks resume

The European Union has praised the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo for resuming face-to-face talks after discussions had been frozen for over a year and a half.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti “show their firm commitment to the EU-facilitated dialogue among them. And I welcome that very much,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, around a decade after Belgrade sent troops into its former territory to crush an uprising by ethnic Albanian separatists. Serbia refuses to recognize Kosovo's statehood, and tensions have simmered ever since.

A White House meeting last month between the two sides with U.S. special envoy Richard Grenell failed after a war crimes indictment was issued for Kosovo President Hashim Thaci.

“I am glad to see that the European Union is back in the driver's seat of the process,” Borrell added.

The leaders of the two countries met in Brussels on Thursday for the first time since November 2018.

But experts say there is a long and bumpy road ahead before any agreement between the wartime foes can be reached.

The resumption of dialogue has generated mixed reactions back in Kosovo.

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