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Serbian Socialist Party Enters Coalition Talks with pro-Europeans


Serbia's Socialist Party has entered formal coalition talks with the pro-western alliance of President Boris Tadic, after abandoning efforts to create a parliamentary majority with the nationalists.

Socialist leader Ivica Dacic told reporters on Saturday that a coalition with the Radical Party and the Democratic Party of Serbia is "no longer feasible," because his party has "no common view on key issues" with the nationalists.

President Tadic's coalition won the most seats in last month's parliamentary elections, but not the outright majority needed to form a government.

The 20 seats garnered by the Socialist Party of the late Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic would guarantee either side a parliamentary majority in the 250-seat assembly.

Serbia held early elections on May 11th after the ruling coalition split over the country's EU integration, following Kosovo's declaration of independence from Belgrade in February. Many countries, including the U.S. and most EU members, recognized Kosovo's independence.

The ultra-nationalist Serbian Radical Party and the Democratic Party of Serbia, led by Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, have pledged to oppose closer EU ties unless the union recognizes Kosovo as an integral part of Serbia. President Tadic and his supporters want to continue the EU integration process regardless of the status of Kosovo.

All of Serbia's top leaders say they will never recognize Kosovo's unilateral move.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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