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Serbia, Kosovo Fail To Agree On Judiciary Issue

Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic (left) shakes hands with Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci during a joint meeting with European Union foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton in Brussels on December 13.
BRUSSELS -- The prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo have failed to reach an agreement on the functioning of the judiciary in the Serb-dominated northern part of Kosovo during an EU-sponsored meeting in Brussels.

Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and his counterpart from Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, could not agree on December 13 on the set-up of the judiciary in northern Kosovo.

Belgrade insists either on having a separate court in Mitrovica or allowing Serbian judges to be assigned cases dealing with ethnic Serbs, something Kosovar officials find unacceptable.

It is unlikely Dacic and Thaci will meet again this year.

The failure to gain an agreement probably eliminates Serbia's chance to open accession negotiations with the EU this month and likely means Belgrade and Pristina will have to resolve the issue before Serbian-EU talks can start.
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