Kosovo-Serbia talks to focus on practical issues

AP News
Posted: Mar 08, 2011 5:10 AM

The EU hopes the first direct talks between Serbia and Kosovo since the former province declared independence three years ago will lead to renewed contacts between the two nations.

Serbia has refused to recognize Kosovo's sovereignty, but participants say EU-mediated negotiations Tuesday will sidestep that dispute. They will focus instead on nuts-and-bolts issues such as customs procedures, air traffic control and land registers.

Relations between the two nations have been frozen since 2008.

Serbia had blocked Kosovo's membership in the United Nations where many states share its rejection of unilateral declarations of independence. Kosovo also hasn't been able to open negotiations on accession to the EU.