Serbia and its former province of Kosovo have reached an EU-brokered accord aimed at normalising relations between the Balkan neighbours, the BBC reported. Under the new deal, Serbs in northern Kosovo will have their own police and appeal court. Both sides also agreed to not block each other’s efforts to seek EU membership. Kosovo broke away in 2008. While many countries recognise it as an independent country, Serbia does not. Many minority ethnic Serbs in Kosovo have refused to recognise the authority of the mainly ethnic Albanian government in Pristina, since it unilaterally declared independence five years ago. Brussels said it would open EU membership talks with Serbia if the country relinquished its de facto control over northern Kosovo. The agreement should allow both sides to move on with plans for membership of the EU. Brussels will see it as an important step in normalising relations, which may lead to Serbia getting its much coveted date for the start of EU membership talks, our correspondent says.