BELGRADE, Serbia – Serbia has adopted a set of guidelines for reconciliation talks with the leaders of Kosovo in a strong first signal that it is loosening its claim to its former province.
Serbia maintains it will never recognize Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence. But in a big shift in policy, an overwhelming majority of Serbia's Parliament voted Sunday for a resolution calling for autonomy for minority Serbs within Kosovo's borders, a de facto recognition of Kosovo's sovereignty.
While outlining a government plan for the talks with Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders, Serbia's Prime Minister Ivica Dacic said "Serbia's sovereignty over Kosovo practically does not exist."
Progress in the talks is crucial for Serbia to get closer to EU membership.
NATO bombed Serbia in 1999 to stop its crackdown against independence-seeking Kosovo Albanians.