Serbia‚ Kosovo talks end without any deal

BRUSSELS: The European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Wednesday that Serbia and Kosovo could not reach a deal in Brussels on improving ties that is seen as crucial to Serbia’s hopes of joining the EU bloc.

The EU-mediated talks between Serbia and Kosovo were part of an attempt to resolve one of the most difficult issues dividing the two sides – the status of Serb-dominated northern Kosovo.

In a statement, Ashton, who had been mediating in the talks, said that the gap between the two sides was “very narrow, but deep.” She said the 12-hour negotiating session in Brussels was the last time all sides would meet formally for the EU-mediated talks.

Ashton said that Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci would return home to consult colleagues and decide on future steps.