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The opening of negotiations with Serbia, which hopes to join the EU, was approved by EU Foreign Affairs ministers on December 17. An intergovernmental conference is scheduled for January 21.

"At the end of the negotiations with the EU, Serbia will have to sign a legally binding agreement with Kosovo aimed at the total normalisation of relations between them," explains Serbian daily Politika. The paper adds that Spain opposed this condition before switching to a position supported by Germany and Britain.

Politika further notes that negotiations may be suspended if Belgrade's progress "is significantly delayed" on Chapter 23, concerning the judicial system and fundamental rights, or on Chapter 24 which focuses on justice, security and freedom.