The European Commission has recommended opening EU membership talks with Serbia, following Friday’s landmark deal to normalise Serbia-Kosovo ties, BBC reports. Serbia’s government has approved the EU-brokered deal with its former province of Kosovo. Both Serbia and Kosovo want to join the EU. There has been sporadic violence in Kosovo since the 1999 conflict. Many countries recognise Kosovo as independent, but Serbia is among those, including Russia and China, who do not. Five of the 27 EU countries do not recognise Kosovo: Spain, Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Cyprus. Serbia insists that Friday’s deal, granting a high degree of autonomy to Serb-majority areas in northern Kosovo, does not mean that it has recognised Kosovo’s independence. The Commission, which steers EU membership negotiations, said it “recommends that negotiations for accession to the European Union should be opened with Serbia”. EU foreign ministers will consider the issue on Monday.