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00:28 GMT +3 hours18 December 2014
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Serbia to reinstate EU ambassadors recalled over Kosovo

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Serbia's new government decided on Thursday to reinstate a number of European ambassadors recalled in protest at their governments' recognition of Kosovo's declaration of independence in February.
BELGRADE, July 24 (RIA Novosti) - Serbia's new government decided on Thursday to reinstate a number of European ambassadors recalled in protest at their governments' recognition of Kosovo's declaration of independence in February.

The move follows the arrest in Belgrade of Radovan Karadzic, the wartime Bosnian Serb leader wanted by the UN on genocide charges. Karadzic's arrest was one of the conditions set by the EU for approval of Serbia's EU membership bid.

European officials hailed earlier this week the arrest of Karadzic.

Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said earlier that the return of ambassadors to 11 European states - Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Hungary, Germany, Slovenia and Sweden - would allow a step up of "diplomatic efforts" to make Serbia a EU candidate state before the end of 2008.

Ambassadors were withdrawn from 43 countries in total, including the United States and most EU countries. Belgrade called the declaration of independence by Kosovo illegal. Russia and China have refused to recognize the "newest" state.

Belgrade either has no embassies in the other EU member states that recognized the Albanian-dominated region, or has not appointed ambassadors there yet.

Asked whether Serbia would reinstate envoys to other states, Jeremic said the country would "never send a signal that could be taken as rejection of the fight for its territorial integrity and sovereignty."