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Serbia, Macedonia Agree To Mend Ties Amid Diplomatic Spat


Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic (left) and Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev (combo photo)

The leaders of Serbia and Macedonia agreed on August 23 to promote dialogue between the two neighbors and to “jointly strive” to improve relations, after Belgrade abruptly recalled all staff from its embassy in Skopje.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev made the announcement in a five-point joint statement following a telephone conversation.

Earlier this week, Serbian Embassy staff were withdrawn for consultations regarding what Vucic called "offensive intelligence activities" against Serbia -- something Macedonian officials denied.

The move coincided with reports that Macedonia was joining diplomatic efforts to secure Kosovo's membership in the UN cultural agency UNESCO.

Serbia has not recognized Kosovo's independence and opposes its attempts to join international organizations.

Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008, applied to join UNESCO in 2015, but its application did not secure enough votes.

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