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Serbia, Kosovo PMs to hold fresh talks at EU

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(BRUSSELS) - The prime ministers of Serbia and Kosovo will hold a third round of normalisation talks under EU auspices on Tuesday, the EU said.

The meeting between Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and his Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaci will be held within the framework of the EU-facilitated dialogue, a statement said.

It will be hosted, as previously, by EU foreign policy head Catherine Ashton, and "build on previous discussions held on 19 October and 7 November, and provide an opportunity to continue the dialogue for the normalisation of relations between the two sides," it said.

Dacic described the last talks in November as a "good and useful meeting. I believe that we made several steps forward" -- while Kosovo's Thaci said they took place "in a constructive spirit" with a "substantial debate."

The EU is offering to draw both sides closer to the 27-nation bloc on condition that they cooperate on issues such as security and trade in order to reduce tensions and resolve daily headaches caused by Belgrade's refusal to recognise Pristina's unilateral declaration of independence in 2008.

The EU-mediated dialogue was initiated in hopes of normalising ties by easing problems for ordinary people such as Kosovo's lack of a telephone country code.

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