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EU Commission recommends start of Serbia membership talks

Serbian (R) and EU flags are seen inside a shop in Belgrade in this December 8, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Marko Djurica/Files

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission recommended on Monday that negotiations begin with Serbia on membership of the European Union.

The Balkan country agreed to cede its last remaining foothold in its former province of Kosovo last week, striking a historic accord to settle relations in exchange for talks on joining the European Union.

“The Commission considers that Serbia has met the key priority of taking steps towards a visible and sustainable improvement of relations with Kosovo,” the Commission wrote in a joint report on the Serbia-Kosovo talks. “The European Commission therefore recommends that negotiations for accession to the Union should be opened with Serbia.”

Reporting by Justyna Pawlak and Martin Santa; editing by Rex Merrifield