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Serbia and Kosovo sign deal to normalise economic relations

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Former foes Kosovo and Serbia agreed Friday to normalise economic relations in a US-brokered deal that the administration of President Donald Trump touted as a major diplomatic success — but which leaves political normalisation on hold. 

France 24 reports that the two sides signed a statement in the White House Oval Office committing to a raft of measures to improve transport infrastructure and border crossings, cut trade tariffs and share energy and water resources, and to implement earlier agreements on opening highway and rail links.

They also agreed, as part of their commitments, to improve their relations with Israel. Serbia will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem while Kosovo, a majority-Muslim country, will formally recognize the Jewish state. 

In turn, Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, gained formal recognition from Israel. 

“A truly historic day,” Trump said, with Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic sitting beside him in the Oval Office.

France 24 / EPA

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