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Originally published Friday, May 10, 2013 at 6:47 AM

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Serb nationalists reject deal with Kosovo

More than 3,000 Serbian nationalists have rallied against a deal normalizing relations with breakaway Kosovo, accusing the government of treason for accepting the agreement in order to advance Serbia's EU bid.

The Associated Press

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BELGRADE, Serbia —

More than 3,000 Serbian nationalists have rallied against a deal normalizing relations with breakaway Kosovo, accusing the government of treason for accepting the agreement in order to advance Serbia's EU bid.

Carrying banners "No EU" and "Kosovo is Serbia," the demonstrators on Friday pledged support to hardline Serbs in northern Kosovo who have also rejected the EU-brokered accord.

The deal will give Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leadership authority over rebel Kosovo Serbs, who, in return, will get wide-ranging autonomy.

Serbia has rejected Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence, but must improve ties with its former province to join the European Union. Belgrade's control over Serb-populated north of Kosovo has led to tensions.

One Kosovo Serb, Slavisa Ristic, told the rally in Belgrade "there can be no agreement about abandoning Kosovo."

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