Serbia, Kosovo Leaders Meet for First Time

European Union mediates talks


The European Union on Friday mediated the first official talks between the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo, the bitter Balkan rivals, and the Serbian prime minister said he is ready for a "historic compromise."

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said she first met separately with Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, then chaired a joint meeting. We "will meet again soon … to improve the lives of people and help solve problems and, in so doing, bring Serbia and Kosovo closer to the European Union," Ashton said.

Kosovo, which is predominantly ethnic Albanian, declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Serbia has said it will never recognize the independence of its former province, which it considers the cradle of its statehood and Christian Orthodox religion.