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EU confirms Serbian, Kosovar presidents to meet

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The European Union on Saturday confirmed that the presidents of Serbia and Kosovo will meet in Brussels next week, the first such meeting since breakaway Kosovo declared independence in 2008.

Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic will meet his Kosovo counterpart Atifete Jahjaga on February 6, the office of EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a brief statement.

The meeting was first announced last week in a message on Nikolic's official Twitter account.

Belgrade does not recognise Kosovo’s unilateral independence declaration from Serbia in 2008.

However in March 2011 under EU auspices, the two sides began talks aimed at normalising their relations, and Ashton has taken the lead in sponsoring the talks.

More than 90 countries, including the United States and 22 of the EU's 27 member states, have recognised Kosovo as an independent state.

The EU has promised to draw both sides closer to the 27-state bloc on condition they resolve trade and security issues.

Serbia is an EU candidate for membership and Kosovo hopes to formalise ties.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130202/eu-confirms-serbian-kosovar-presidents-meet