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Mogherini Expects Progress In Serbia-Kosovo Dialogue

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says she sees a “good opportunity” for Serbia and Kosovo to make progress toward normalizing relations in the coming year.

“Yes, I see a possibility for this qualitative leap to happen from now to, let's say, the end of 2018. That is even a long run. I might expect results even before,” Mogherini said in Brussels on October 11 alongside Serbian Prime Minister Anna Brnabic.

“I think both parties are determined, do have political conditions at home that were not there before, and I see a lot of determination in achieving results,” she added.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but Belgrade doesn't recognize the move. The European Union has urged Pristina and Belgrade -- both with desires of joining the EU -- to normalize relations and is sponsoring talks in hopes of ending years of hostility.

Brnabic also met in Brussels with European Parliament President Antonio Tajani, who said Serbia was making “steady progress toward EU integration.”

But Tajani cautioned that “there is work left to be done,” insisting that it is crucial for Serbia to improve the rule of law and implement judicial reforms.

During a conversation with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Brnabic confirmed that accessing the European Union is Serbia's "strategic goal."

Serbia, along with Montenegro, is the Western Balkan country closest to joining the EU, having initiated accession talks with Brussels in 2014.