Serbia and Kosovo have resumed European Union-brokered talks in Brussels, with Belgrade under pressure from the bloc to strike agreements with its former province in order to make progress towards EU membership.

Wednesday’s talks were expected to focus on Kosovo’s participation in international forums – which Serbia has so far blocked – and on the violent protests by ethnic Serbs in northern Kosovo against the handover of two border points to Kosovo officers, German press agency DPA reported.

None the chief negotiators, Serbia’s Borislav Stefanovic and Kosovo’s Edita Tahiri, were hopeful ahead of the meeting, the eighth since March.