Serbia defiant over Kosovo reconciliation

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Serbia has rejected a European Union-brokered deal for reconciliation with its former province, Kosovo – a defiant move that could jeopardise the country’s EU membership aspirations and fuel tensions in the region.

The EU had given Serbia until today to say whether it would relinquish its effective control over northern Kosovo in exchange for the start of Serbia’s EU membership negotiations.

Even before the government rejection yesterday, deputy prime minister Aleksandar Vucic – Serbia’s most powerful governing party leader and also the defence minister – said the plan is unacceptable because it does not give more autonomy to minority ethnic Serbs in Kosovo, who together with Serbia, reject Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence.