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Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said that eight EU countries have supported the idea of giving Serbia a conditional date for the start of EU talks, perhaps as soon as March.
|Serbian Prime Minister, Ivica Dacic|
Speaking to Belgrade-based Pink TV, Dacic also said the November 8 meeting with the head of the Kosovo interim government Hasim Thaci was called on the initiative of Italy and Sweden, calling it “a step forward compared to the atmosphere and the pressure that we have had in the previous years".
Dacic announced a new meeting with Thaci for the first half of December, before the EU Council meets.
He noted that the previous government had "initialled" an agreement on integrated management of crossings between Kosovo and central Serbia but described it as "difficult".
Dacic said the government "understood the objections of ... Serbs in Kosovo, but had no choice" as it must implement what the previous government “signed".
He said the agreement would first be implemented at two temporary crossings "in containers, without permanently built structures".
Dacic said it is "important to define the executive role of EULEX and who would collect the income", which he told Thaci "should go to the north where Serbs live".
As for the role of the EU mission, the prime minister believes it is important "in order not to bring up the status issue on the agenda, regardless of the fact our representatives and those of the interim institutions in Pristina will be also present".
Dacic said Serbia will not change its position regarding the status of Kosovo and that it can "make moves within what the previous government had signed or discard it all, which would set us several steps back".
He noted that he was a part of the ruling coalition that went to war over Kosovo which means he is nationalistic and patriotic. Serbia wants to discuss essential issues of status but he said "nobody can expect the prime minister of Serbia to accept an independent Kosovo."
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