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Serbia, Kosovo Cancel Round Of EU-Mediated Talks

A Kosovo Force (KFOR) soldier from Armenia stands guard at the closed Serbia-Kosovo border crossing of Jarinje.
Serbia and Kosovo have cancelled the seventh round of European Union-mediated talks between the two countries in Brussels.

Robert Cooper, the EU diplomat brokering the dialogue, said that the talks didn't take place as planned on September 28 because the Serbian delegation "was not ready to proceed with discussions today."

Cooper said the discussions, which aim to smooth out practical cooperation between Serbia and Kosovo, will continue "when the Serbian side is ready to re-engage."

An EU diplomat told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity that the Serbian delegation wanted to raise the issue of unrest on the northern Kosovo border, which left four NATO troops and at least seven Serb protesters injured on September 27.

In a statement on September 28, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that "the violence committed against the Serb population by KFOR [NATO peacekeeping troops] is of particular concern." It also called on the NATO-led force to respect neutrality and the "supremacy of the law."

Belgrade has refused to recognize Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia, while Kosovo's government has been trying to assert its authority in the minority Serbian north of the territory.

compiled from agency reports