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EU Welcomes Consent To Normalize Serbia-Kosovo Ties

Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, and Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic (right to left) in Brussels on May 21
The European Union has welcomed the consent of Serbia and Kosovo to adopt a plan implementing a normalization agreement signed last month.

Speaking in Brussels, EU chief diplomat Catherine Ashton said the plan is "designed to solve problems on the ground and to ensure rapid progress of both Serbia and Kosovo towards the EU."

Pristina was quick to approve the implementation plan after Serbian and Kosovar Prime Ministers Ivica Dacic and Hashim Thaci outlined it on May 22.

But Serbia lingered until late on May 26, asking for guarantees that its consent would not mean Belgrade acknowledges the sovereignty of Kosovo.

Kosovo, with its majority ethnic Albanian population, declared independence in 2008, nine years after NATO ousted Serbian forces from the territory to end a brutal ethnic conflict.

Based on reporting by dpa and Reuters