US, 4 Western states urge restart of Serbia-Kosovo talks

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The United States and four Western countries said they will help Serbia and Kosovo to restart European Union-sponsored talks aimed at normalizing ties between the former wartime foes.

In a statement released Tuesday, Britain France, Germany, Italy and the U.S. said they “stand united in our aim to see the full normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia via a comprehensive, politically sustainable, and legally binding agreement that contributes to regional stability.”

A former Serbian province, Kosovo declared independence in 2008, a move that Belgrade does not recognize. Talks between the two stalled last year over Kosovo’s decision to impose a 100% tax on goods from Serbia.

The statement said the current status quo is “simply not sustainable.”

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