OHRID: Kosovo and Serbia stopped short of signing a potentially landmark deal late on Saturday night after holding a marathon round of talks, even as the EU hailed progress towards reaching a long-sought agreement between the arch-foes.

The latest round of high-stakes negotiations followed months of EU-mediated shuttle diplomacy, nearly 25 years after the war between ethnic Albanian insurgents and Serb forces sparked a Nato bombing campaign that ended the conflict and saw Serbian government personnel and security forces pull out from the breakaway territory.

Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic engaged in negotiations for nearly 12 hours during a summit in North Macedonia’s Ohrid, picking over an 11-point plan unveiled by the EU last month during a Brussels summit. But in the end, they failed to iron out a final agreement that could be signed by both.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2023

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