German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she will push for dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo when she visits Belgrade next week.
Merkel is to hold talks with Serbian officials on Tuesday during a visit which follows a recent spike in tensions with Kosovo, a former province that declared independence from Serbia in 2008.
Merkel said in her weekly video podcast Saturday that she will call "for dialogue with Kosovo to be resumed."
She added that "there can be no European perspective for this region if all do not make efforts _ even though the scars of the past still have deep and difficult effects."
Merkel's trip also will take her to neighboring Croatia, which has been cleared to join the European Union in 2013.