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Leaders of Serbia, Kosovo Meet For First Time Under EU Auspices

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton meets with Serbia's Prime Minister Ivica Dacic in Brussels on October 19.
The prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo met face-to-face on October 19 in the first top-level encounter between leaders of the two sides since Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia.

European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said she chaired the meeting between Serbia's Ivica Dacic and Kosovo's Hashim Thaci after meeting separately with the two leaders in Brussels.

Ashton said the encounter took place "in a good and constructive atmosphere," adding that they would meet again soon.

Serbia refuses to recognize the independence that the predominantly ethnic Albanian Kosovo declared in 2008.

But in 2011, the two sides engaged in an EU-facilitated dialogue to resolve day-to-day problems.

The talks were halted after Serbia held elections in May.

The EU is stepping up pressure to resume them.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa