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No Breakthrough Reported At Kosovo-Serbia Talks In Brussels

Left to right: Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic; Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic; EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini; Kosovar President Hashim Thaci; and Kosovar Prime Minister Isa Mustafa in Brussels on February 1

The presidents and prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo have held a new round of talks aimed at improving ties, with no apparent breakthrough.

The meeting took place in Brussels late on February 1 following a recent spike in tensions between Serbia and Kosovo, whose relations are still strained nearly two decades after a deadly conflict.

After the talks, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said she was "encouraged by the constructive engagement shown by both sides."

The participants "reconfirmed their full commitment" to continue dialogue, a statement said.

There were no comments from the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia.

The last such talks on establishing normal relations were held on January 24.

The friction between Belgrade and Pristina increased in early January with the detention in France on war-crimes charges of former Kosovar Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, a guerrilla commander in Kosovo's 1998-99 war for independence from Belgrade.

It increased days later when a Serbian train with signs reading "Kosovo is Serbia" was turned back from the border with Kosovo.

Kosovar leaders have accused Belgrade of trying to destabilize the country and of plotting to take control of an ethnic-Serbian-dominated enclave in northern Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and is recognized by 114 countries.

Serbia accused Kosovo of seeking to provoke war.

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