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Serbia Hopes For Progress On EU Bid As Talks With Kosovo Resume

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic voiced hope on February 9 that his country could make progress soon in its bid for EU membership ahead of talks in Brussels on resuming efforts to normalize ties with Kosovo.

Serbia does not recognize the independence of Kosovo, which split from Belgrade in 2008.

But the two sides reached a deal in 2013 on improving relations -- a precondition for closer ties with the European Union.

However, 10 months have passed since the last round of EU-brokered talks.

Talks on February 9 were the first between Vucic and new Kosovar Prime Minister Isa Mustafa.

The bloc opened membership talks last year with Serbia and struck a deal with Kosovo on closer EU ties.

"We hope that Serbia will see some [negotiation] chapters opening very soon," Vucic said, referring to the 35 areas in which membership hopefuls must fall in line with EU standards.

Based on reporting by dpa