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Kosovo-Serbia crisis talks in Brussels end without breakthrough

Leaders of Kosovo and Serbia failed to find a solution at a crisis meeting held in Brussels on Thursday to ease heightened tensions between the two Western Balkan nations.

Leaders of Kosovo and Serbia failed to find a solution at a crisis meeting held in Brussels on Thursday to ease heightened tensions between the two Western Balkan nations.

“Today there is not an agreement, but we don’t give up,” said Josep Borrell, EU foreign policy chief, who called the meeting after a dispute over car licence plates and identity documents in late July resulted in street barricades and shots fired.

The situation calmed after Pristina agreed to continue to recognize Serbian-issued licence plates and documents for Kosovar citizens for another 30 days, until the end of August.

Borrell said that there was still some time left to find a long-term solution to the dispute amid fears that leaving the issue unresolved could again lead to violence.

Borrell added that Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti will resume discussions “in the coming days.”

“I think that both President Vučić and Prime Minister Kurti understood that there is not an alternative to the dialogue in order to solve this problem,” Borrell said.

Borrell called the recent violence a “symptom” for the unresolved regional conflict.

Kosovo broke away from Serbia in 1999 following a war and declared independence unilaterally in 2008.

The EU has been trying to mediate between the two countries for years.

Expectations were low before the talks. Vučić said on Twitter before the meeting that he was “hopeful for some kind of solution” but remained sceptical.

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