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Die Presse - Austria | Monday, July 4, 2011

Serbia opens up to Kosovo

Serbia and Kosovo agreed on Saturday on concrete measures for overcoming practical problems related to the contentious border between the two countries. This first agreement since the former Serb province declared its independence in February 2008 does not mean Serbia recognises Kosovo as a sovereign state but is a refreshing show of pragmatism, writes the liberal-conservative daily Die Presse: "Serbia's nationalist ex-prime minister Vojislav Koštunica would never have dreamed this could happen: that he could agree with the Kosovar government for once. Both see this first agreement on practical measures between Belgrade and Pristina as a first step towards Belgrade recognising Kosovo's independence. This is absolutely ridiculous of course. Just as ridiculous and foolish as it would be for the EU to demand that Serbia explicitly recognise Kosovo as a condition for EU membership talks. More than three years after Kosovo's declaration of independence that was so painful for Belgrade it is simply a case of pragmatism having won the day. That's pretty good news coming from this corner of Europe."

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