Kosovo Serbia sign energy telecom agreements after EU brokered talks

(MENAFN- Saudi Press Agency) BRUSSELS Dhu-AlQa'dah 11 1436 August 26 2015 SPA -- Serbia and its former southern province of Kosovo took steps toward overcoming decades of animosity on Tuesday signing energy and telecoms agreements and bringing Belgrade closer to one day joining the European Union according to Reuters.

After European Union-mediated talks in Brussels Serbs in northern Kosovo will enjoy greater rights and be able to manage some issues such as the local Economy and education as well as having access to funding from Belgrade.

"Today's outcome represents landmark achievements in the normalisation process" EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement referring to the two sides that fought a war in the 1990s and which both aspire to EU membership.

Kosovo will for example have its own telephone country code essentially a recognition by Serbia of the sovereignty of majority-Albanian Kosovo which has declared independence.

Serbia's hopes of opening the first chapter in EU accession talks hinge on implementation of an EU-brokered deal in 2013 to regulate relations with Kosovo.

Kosovo seceded from Serbia in 2008 almost a decade after NATO intervened with air strikes to drive out Serbian forces from Kosovo and halt the killing and expulsion of ethnic Albanian civilians during a two-year counter-insurgency war.

The U.S. State Department in a statement praised both government for their progress and "moving their countries closer to normalization of relations and along their respective EU paths."
02:44 LOCAL TIME 23:44 GMT

Saudi Press Agency

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