BERLIN

Serbia and Kosova have agreed to resume EU-sponsored talks for normalization, leaders of Germany and France said in a joint statement.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron co-hosted a virtual meeting on Friday with the participation of Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti.

“President Vucic and Prime Minister Hoti have agreed to resume dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina which has been suspended since November 2018,” Merkel and Macron said in their joint statement after the video conference.

“The European Union will continue to support this dialogue with the goal of normalization of relations between Serbia and Kosovo through a comprehensive, final and legally-binding agreement,” they stressed.

Serbian and Kosovar delegations will resume negotiations on Sunday via a video call and then the delegations will meet in Brussels on Thursday, according to the joint statement.

The meeting will be hosted by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell with the presence of Miroslav Lajcak, the bloc’s special representative for Kosovo-Serbia dialogue.

The EU has been trying to make the parties find an agreement since 2008, with the intention of offering an EU membership perspective for both of them.

Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, with most UN member states recognizing it as a separate autonomous country from its neighbor. Belgrade, however, maintains that it is a breakaway province and has worked to roll back recognition.

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