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US, 4 European states want restart of Serbia-Kosovo talks, say status quo ‘not sustainable’

US, 4 European states want restart of Serbia-Kosovo talks, say status quo ‘not sustainable’

The United States and four Western countries offered help Tuesday to Serbia and Kosovo to restart their EU-sponsored talks aimed at normalizing ties. Britain, France, Germany, Italy and the US said in a statement that they “stand united in our aim to see the full normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia via a comprehensive, politically sustainable, and legally binding agreement that contributes to regional stability.”

Serbia, Russia and a number of other states do not recognize Kosovo’s independence declared in 2008.

The talks stalled last year over Kosovo’s decision to impose a 100 percent tax on goods from Serbia. The statement urged Pristina to lift the tariffs, but also asked Serbia to suspend “the de-recognition campaign against Kosovo,” AP said. 

The status quo “prevents progress on Kosovo’s and Serbia’s path toward the EU and is simply not sustainable,” the statement added.