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EU: Serbia has long road to accession

BELGRADE, Serbia, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- The European Union's foreign minister told Serbian President Boris Tadic in Belgrade the country has a long way to go before it can become a member.

Catherine Ashton concluded her visit to Belgrade Thursday with a meeting with Tadic, during which she emphasized the need for Serbia to enact reforms, cooperate with The Hague's ongoing war crimes tribunal, improve neighborly relations and "distancing from the crimes and ghosts of the past," Radio B92 reported.

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Tadic told Ashton Serbia was searching for fugitive war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic "on a daily basis with undiminished effort," the report said.

The report didn't indicate if Serbia's denial of Kosovo's sovereignty was discussed, but the reference to good neighborly relations was poignant, as the breakaway predominantly Albanian province celebrated its second anniversary of independence Wednesday and Ashton was due to visit the capital, Pristina, Friday.

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