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BRUSSELS, Feb 19 (Reuters) - European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana travelled to Kosovo on Tuesday to meet leaders of the new state two days after their Western-backed declaration of independence, an EU official said.
The surprise visit came a day after EU foreign ministers failed to agree on recognising Kosovo’s secession from Serbia but said in a joint statement that the whole Western Balkans would eventually join the bloc and they would assure stability.
Solana was to meet President Fatmir Sejdiu and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in a one-day visit to Pristina where he was expected to repeat EU calls for calm after the move, which is fiercely opposed by Serbia.
The four major EU powers — France, Germany, Britain and Italy — announced on Monday their intention to recognise the new state, but Spain and several other countries said they would not do so.
The the 27 EU members agreed on a statement that left each capital free to decide on recognition but authorised the European Commission to use EU funds and personnel "to promote economic and political development".
The EU official said Solana would set out to Kosovo’s leaders how such support would work and discuss the role of a 2,000-strong EU mission to supervise police and judicial services, which member states approved on Saturday. (reporting by Mark John; editing by Paul Taylor)