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Originally published Friday, January 18, 2013 at 2:42 AM

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Serbia, Kosovo reach preliminary deal on customs

The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo agreed on collecting custom duties and other taxes at a meeting in Brussels with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

The Associated Press

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BRUSSELS —

The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo agreed on collecting custom duties and other taxes at a meeting in Brussels with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

A statement from Ashton said Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci of Kosovo "came to a provisional understanding" on the customs and tax issues.

Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008, is recognized as independent by many nations, but not by Serbia. Nevertheless, normalizing relations with Kosovo in areas such as border management, telecommunications and regional cooperation is an EU condition before Serbia is allowed to join the European Union.

Ashton said she and the two leaders will meet again in February.

In Kosovo, police said three government vehicles were burned in Pristina, the capital, but no one claimed responsibility.

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