Italy’s prime minister has urged Kosovo to withdraw a 100-percent tariff on goods from Serbia so the former Balkan foes could resume European Union-mediated talks on normalizing relations.

Premier Giuseppe Conte said in Belgrade that Italy hopes a compromise solution would soon be reached between Serbia and its former province that declared independence in 2008.

The EU has mediated negotiations aimed at resolving the long-standing Balkan dispute. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo’s independence, but the two must improve relations to join the EU.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, left, shakes hands with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, left, shakes hands with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Both Brussels and Washington have criticized the tariffs.

Serbia says it will not take part in EU-facilitated discussions until the tax is ditched, while Kosovo wants Serbia to recognize its statehood and stops preventing it joining international organizations.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, left, speaks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, left, speaks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaks during talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte speaks during talks with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte reviews the honor guard during a welcome ceremony ahead of meeting with his Serbian counterpart Ana Brnabic at the Serbia Palace in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte reviews the honor guard during a welcome ceremony ahead of meeting with his Serbian counterpart Ana Brnabic at the Serbia Palace in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, left, reviews the honor guard during a welcome ceremony ahead of meeting with his Serbian counterpart Ana Brnabic, right, at the Serbia Palace in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, left, reviews the honor guard during a welcome ceremony ahead of meeting with his Serbian counterpart Ana Brnabic, right, at the Serbia Palace in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, left, reviews the honor guard during a welcome ceremony ahead of meeting with his Serbian counterpart Ana Brnabic, right, at the Serbia Palace in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, left, reviews the honor guard during a welcome ceremony ahead of meeting with his Serbian counterpart Ana Brnabic, right, at the Serbia Palace in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte reviews the honor guard during a welcome ceremony ahead of meeting with his Serbian counterpart Ana Brnabic at the Serbia Palace in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte reviews the honor guard during a welcome ceremony ahead of meeting with his Serbian counterpart Ana Brnabic at the Serbia Palace in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, left, reviews the honor guard during a welcome ceremony ahead of meeting with his Serbian counterpart Ana Brnabic, right, at the Serbia Palace in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, left, reviews the honor guard during a welcome ceremony ahead of meeting with his Serbian counterpart Ana Brnabic, right, at the Serbia Palace in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

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