World Bulletin / News Desk
Serbia and Kosovo agreed in principle on Wednesday on a plan to implement an historic accord to settle their relations, a step that strengthens Serbia's chances of getting the go-ahead next month to start talks on joining the European Union.
Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and his Kosovo counterpart, Hashim Thaci, reached the draft agreement in two days of talks in Brussels, chaired by EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
The two leaders will return to their capitals to consult other political leaders however before giving their final verdict on the plan, which sets out concrete steps for putting into practice a groundbreaking agreement to normalise relations which was agreed in April.
Ashton said in a statement that the two prime ministers had agreed on "a fixed text which they are now consulting upon. They will be in touch with me by the end of the week."
No details of the draft agreement were made public.
Serbia agreed on April 19 to cede its last remaining foothold in its former province of Kosovo in return for the prospect of talks on eventually joining the EU.
The deal, brokered by the EU, capped six months of delicate negotiations and marked a milestone for the region's recovery from the collapse of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
The agreement outlined an end to the ethnic partition of Kosovo between its Albanian majority and a small, Belgrade-backed pocket of some 50,000 Serbs in the north.
The north Kosovo Serbs have threatened to resist integration with the rest of Kosovo, in a region bristling with weapons.
Following the accord, the EU's executive Commission encouraged EU governments to start membership talks with Serbia, but the bloc wants to see a plan for implementing the agreement and progress on the ground before taking a final decision in late June.
If implemented, the deal could unlock Serbia's potential as the largest market in the former Yugoslavia, taking the country from international pariah status under late strongman Slobodan Milosevic to the threshold of mainstream Europe.
More than a quarter of French Africans feel discriminated against in their workplace in France.
The UN has said that it will investigate the firing of shots on its compound in South Sudan.
The Dutch government has agreed to introduce a partial ban on wearing the full face veil known as the niqab in public schools, hospitals, public transport and government offices. There are approximately between 200-500 women who wear the niqab in the country.
Protestors in Bosnia have demonstrated against the Morsi death penalty.
Germany and France have urged Greece to return to negotiations to complete a reform agreement before cash runs out.
The EU and the Ukraine have put in place a anti-corruption investigative team to handle misuse of EU funds for Kiev
The UN has expressed its shock over a Hungarian survey that has linked migrants and terrorism.
Malawi has expressed high hopes for entrepreneurs to help drive their economy.
The EU is set to propose to relocate 40,000 refugees across the entire EU
Cholera has struck more than 3,000 Burundi refugees in Tanzana, an epidemic that is now worsening daily.
A Russia missile producer has appealed against sanctions set by the EU.
The World Bank has said that Gaza's economy is on the verge of collapse, with the highest unemployment rate in the world, with threat of disease very high.
Ethiopia's parties are preparing for the elections on Sunday and are approaching the voters through ethnicity and differences in political ideology.
Uganda has elections in 2016 and there is currently 10 members representing the Ugandan defence force in parliament.
Today marks 150 years since the Circassian genocide, of one of the worst massacres in modern history, where nearly 2 million people were driven to exile from their homeland of Circassia.