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news 05 Sep 12

EU: Serbia Does Not Have to Recognize Kosovo

Enlargement Commissioner repeats that Belgrade and Pristina must normalise ties - but Serbia's diplomatic recognition of Kosovo is not crucial to its EU integration.

Belgrade

The EU Enlargement Commissioner, Stefan Fuele, has denied that the European Union will inist on Serbia's recognition of Kosovo before it can join the organization.

"The heads of state of the EU in December [2011] adopted clear conclusions about visible and sustainable development of relations with Kosovo, in other words, about normalization, not about the need for a recognition," Fuele said.

He stressed that the bloc "had no plans beyond that", and that the conditions set out in December had been reiterated in meetings with the Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic on Tuesday.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 but Belgrade does not recognise the new country.

The Serbian Prime Minister recently also insisted that recognition of Kosovo is not a precondition for Serbia's EU accession, saying he had not heard anything different in Brussels.

EU-mediated talks started last March aimed at normalising relations between Kosovo and Serbia, both of which share a desire to join the EU one day.

The talks are supposed to continue in the following weeks.

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