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Talks on Serbia's accession to EU to begin in Jan 2014--statement by EU Foreign ministers

December 18, 2013, 3:21 UTC+3 BELGRADE
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BELGRADE, December 18, 0:50 /ITAR-TASS/. The first European Union (EU) -- Serbia intergovernmental conference, which will actually signify the start of talks on the country's accession to the EU, is due to be held in January 2014, according to a decision made by the Foreign ministers of the EU at their meeting in Brussels on Tuesday after Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, presented a report on progress made within the framework of the talks on normalizing relations between Belgrade and Pristina.

A regular, the 20th, round of the dialogue had been held last Friday. Ashton said Serbia had fulfilled all conditions for launching talks on its accession to the EU. Linas Linkevicius, Foreign Minister of Lithuania, which now presides over the EU Council, told a news conference in Brussels, "We look forward to an intergovernmental conference in January," the Serbian news agency Tanjug reported.

An exact date has not been set so far. Hovewer, January 21 is mentioned both in Brussels and in Serbia as the most likely date. Prime Minister of the Republic Ivica Dacic said he expects that Serbia will start talks with the EU "on Jan. 21, 2014, at the latest".

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