Merkel and Macron give impetus to Kosovo-Serbia talks

A video summit with the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo will be held on Friday, co-headed by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a source in the Elysee Palace announced on Monday. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovan PM Avduallah Hoti are expected to join the French and German leaders, as well as EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, the source said.

The summit will relaunch an EU-backed dialogue between Serbia and its former autonomous province that stalled 18 months ago. The two Balkan leaders will then meet in person in Brussels on Sunday to get the dialogue going again, European Commission spokesperson Peter Stano also announced on Monday.

Hoti and Vucic are both expected to visit Macron ahead of the summit, on Tuesday and Thursday respectively. On Sunday, Borrell and the EU's special representative for Belgrade-Pristina relations, Miroslav Lajcak, plan to attend their talks in Brussels.

After the EU-led dialogue process broke down, the US sought to hold talks in the White House last month, but Hoti pulled out after international prosecutors indicted Kosovan President Hashim Thaci on war crimes charges.

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