BRUSSELS — The European Union praised the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo for resuming face-to-face talks at EU headquarters which had been frozen since November 2018.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti "show their firm commitment to the EU-facilitated dialogue among them. And I welcome that very much," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, around a decade after Belgrade sent troops into its former territory to crush an uprising by ethnic Albanian separatists. Serbia refuses to recognize Kosovo's statehood, and tensions have simmered ever since.

A White House meeting last month between the two sides with U.S. special envoy Richard Grenell failed after a war crimes indictment was issued for Kosovo President Hashim Thaci.

"I am glad to see that the European Union is back in the driver's seat of the process," Borrell said.