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EU Urges Serbia's New Leader To Be 'Constructive In Words And Deeds'

European Union Council President Herman Van Rompuy (left) walks alongside the newly elected president of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic, prior to a working session at the EU Headquarters in Brussels on June 14.
EU President Herman van Rompuy has called on Serbia "to play a positive and constructive role in words and deeds" as Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic made his first official visit to Brussels.

However, EU officials avoided the controversy over Nikolic's refusal to recognize the 1995 Srebrenica massacre as genocide.

The EU has previously warned Serbia against attempts to "rewrite" history after Nikolic said at least twice in recent weeks that the 1995 massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica during the Bosnia war was not genocide.

EU officials also warned on June 14 that "further normalization of relations with Kosovo" is essential before Serbia might start accession talks with the European Union.

Nikolic said he was assured that the EU "will not demand from us to recognize Kosovo officially."

Based on reporting by dpa and B92