Serbia, Kosovo leaders meet at EU

Associated Press

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has overseen the first talks between the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo, the bitter Balkan rivals.

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said she first met separately with Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci on Friday, then chaired a joint meeting.

Ashton said the three "will meet again soon ... to improve the lives of people and help solve problems and, in so doing, bring Serbia and Kosovo closer to the European Union."

Kosovo, which is mostly made up of ethnic Albanians, declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Serbia has said it will never recognize the independence of its former province.

Kosovo's Serb-populated north has been a flashpoint because hardline Serbs there do not acknowledge the authority of Kosovo's central government.