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Belgrade, Pristina agree to avoid provocations at Kosovo talks -1

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Serbs and Kosovars agreed at separate negotiations with the 'troika' of international mediators to abstain from provocations at talks on the status of Kosovo, a European mediator said Thursday.
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VIENNA, August 30 (RIA Novosti) - Serbs and Kosovars agreed at separate negotiations with the 'troika' of international mediators to abstain from provocations at talks on the status of Kosovo, a European mediator said Thursday.

EU Envoy Wolfgang Ischinger said the sides had agreed to refrain from acts or statements that might disrupt progress in negotiations on the predominantly Albanian province. However, negotiators admitted that no breakthrough had been reached at the talks, and that both sides had stuck to their former positions.

The diplomatic troika made up of envoys from the European Union, the United States and Russia launched a 120-day effort to end the stalemate over Kosovo. The troika has to find a compromise by December 10 between Kosovo's demands for independence and Serbia's rejection of Kosovars' bid for secession, and its offer for "essential autonomy."

Kosovo has been a UN protectorate since NATO's 78-day bombing campaign against the former Yugoslavia ended a conflict between Serb forces and Muslim Albanian separatists in 1999. The province has been striving for independence from Serbia ever since.

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