Strasbourg, France - Serbia was urged by the European Parliament on Wednesday to finally give up on efforts to hold on to Kosovo, a province which seceded from it in 2008 with Western backing.
The message was delivered as EU lawmakers approved a trade liberalization deal between the European Union and Serbia, green- lighted last year by EU governments, but which still needs final ratification in national parliaments.
In a resolution, the EU assembly called 'on Serbia to enter into dialogue with Kosovo without referring any more to new negotiations on the status.'
Following intense negotiations with the EU, Serbia agreed in September to hold talks with Kosovo, even if authorities in Belgrade vow they will never accept its independence. The so-called 'dialogue' is expected to start later in 2011.
EU lawmakers called on both sides to show 'commitment and readiness to compromise,' but urged Serbia, in particular, to stop undermining the authority of the Kosovo government by supporting 'parallel structures' in the Serb-populated north of the country.