Serbia, Kosovo in historic deal to normalise ties: EU official

The premiers of Serbia and Kosovo on Friday initialled a historic deal to normalise ties, announced European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

"These negotiations have been concluded," Ashton said. "The text has been initialled by both prime ministers."

"What we are seeing is a step away from the past and, for both of them, a step closer to Europe," Ashton said after winding up the talks with Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and his Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaci.

The two delegations headed to NATO for further talks with the head of the alliance Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

NATO's Kosovo force, KFOR, plays a key role in ensuring security in the breakaway province which unilaterally declared its independence in 2008.

The agreement "will help us heal the wounds of the past," Thaci said.