European Union President Herman Van Rompuy has said the bloc needed further assurances of Serbia's good faith in talks with Kosovo before allowing Belgrade to move closer to joining the EU.
After meeting with President Boris Tadic on November 25, Van Rompuy was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying that he had encouraged the Serb leader "to take further steps to assure EU member states that Serbia is seriously engaged in the dialogue with Kosovo and that it is implementing in good faith the agreements reached so far."
The European Union's 27 leaders are due to decide at a summit on December 9 whether to grant Serbia the status of an official candidate for membership of the EU.
Regional cooperation and good relations among neighboring states are seen as an integral part of the EU enlargement process.
Serbia and Kosovo began an EU-brokered dialogue last March to resolve everyday problems such as cuts in transport and telephone networks caused by Belgrade's refusal to recognize Pristina's 2008 declaration of independence.
But the two sides made limited progress this week on resuming the talks after a two-month breakdown when a border dispute in northern Kosovo turned violent.
compiled from agency reports