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Kosovo says now recognized by 100 countries

By Fatos Bytyci PRISTINA (Reuters) - Egypt has become the 100th country to recognize Serbia's former province of Kosovo as independent, the Pristina government said on Wednesday, a milestone for the Balkan country's pursuit of full international acceptance. "The oldest state in the world, Egypt, has officially recognized now the youngest state in Europe - Kosovo," Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj said on Twitter.

Kosovo welcomes EU support for talks as 'milestone'

Kosovo on Wednesday welcomed news that the European Union was prepared to open its doors to the Balkan territory, along with Serbia, as a "milestone". "Yesterday's recommendation... marks an important milestone for Kosovo and the region," Kosovo's foreign minister Enver Hoxhaj told journalists during a visit to Ljubljana. EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele said Tuesday that the bloc would formally adopt on Friday a mandate to start talks on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo, a first step towards membership.

Kosovo welcomes EU support for talks as 'milestone'

Kosovo greeted news that the European Union was prepared to open its door to the small Balkan country, along with Serbia, as a "milestone" on Wednesday. "Yesterday's recommendation... marks an important milestone for Kosovo and the region," Kosovo's foreign minister Enver Hoxhaj told journalists during a visit to Ljubljana. On Tuesday, EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele said the bloc's leaders would formally adopt on Friday a mandate to start talks on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Kosovo, a first step towards membership.

Serbia wins EU support to begin membership talks

European Union ministers on Tuesday unanimously recommended that Serbia begin EU membership negotiations by the very latest in January 2014, as the former pariah state said it had done "everything to become a member of the European family". A formal decision to open EU-Serbia talks will be handed down on Friday by EU heads of state and government, the EU's Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele said. He said the talks would begin in January "at the very latest" and perhaps "as early as October."

EU gives go-ahead for Serbia entry talks by January

By Justyna Pawlak and Adrian Croft LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - Serbia could start negotiations on joining the European Union by January next year, EU ministers agreed on Tuesday, rewarding Belgrade for improving relations with its ex-province Kosovo. Ministers also agreed the EU should launch preparations with Kosovo on a so-called association agreement, a step on the path to eventual EU membership that can carry economic benefits.

Belgrade urges EU to open accession talks in autumn

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic on Friday urged the European Union to open accession talks with Belgrade this autumn, saying his country merits it. The EU leaders meet on June 27 and 28 to decide if Serbia has made a sufficient progress in normalisation of its ties with Kosovo and if it deserves to get a date to start negotiations on EU membership. "It is important that Serbia obtains a precise date, (which) we demand... to be in the autumn," Vucic told reporters after meeting Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic.

Kosovo apoints new envoy to Serbia

Kosovo's ambassador to Croatia was appointed as a new envoy to Serbia, after the previous diplomat resigned just two days after taking on the post, an official said Friday. President Atifete Jahjaga "appointed Valdet Sadiku as the liaison officer to Belgrade," her spokesman Arber Vllahiu told AFP. Sadiku will assume his post immediately and his mission will be to monitor implementation of an EU-brokered deal on improving relations between the former foes.

Serbia, Kosovo PMs meet in push to open EU door

EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton said early Friday that the premiers of Serbia and Kosovo made some headway towards normalising ties, during overnight talks in Brussels. In a statement issued after a six-hour meeting into the wee hours, Ashton said the Serbia and Kosovo prime ministers, Ivica Dacic and Hashim Thaci, "agreed a number of open issues, in particular in the field of justice, police and upcoming municipal elections."

Serbia, Kosovo PMs meet in push to open EU door

EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton said early Friday that the premiers of Serbia and Kosovo made some headway towards normalising ties, during overnight talks in Brussels. In a statement issued after a six-hour meeting into the wee hours, Ashton said the Serbia and Kosovo prime ministers, Ivica Dacic and Hashim Thaci, "agreed a number of open issues, in particular in the field of justice, police and upcoming municipal elections."

Kosovo liaison to Serbia resigns over dispute with PM

Only two days after taking his post, Kosovo's liaison officer to Serbia Lulzim Peci resigned on Wednesday over a dispute with Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, officials said. The resignation, sent in a letter to Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga, came just a day before Thaci was to meet with his Serbian counterpart Ivica Dacic in Brussels to discuss further implementation of the EU-brokered Belgrade-Pristina accord on normalisation of relations between the two former foes.
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