BELGRADE (AFP) - Serbia’s government on Monday approved an EU-brokered deal to normalise ties with breakaway Kosovo, a historic agreement aimed at turning the page on the Balkans’ last simmering trouble-spot 14 years after the end of hostilities.

The government has accepted the “first accord on principles which regulate normalisation of relations, reached during the dialogue on Kosovo inBrussels” on Friday, said a statement issued after a cabinet meeting.

The government has instructed ministries to take “the necessary measures” to implement the accord, it added.

The Serbian parliament is also due to discuss the deal later this week, but it is expected to be approved as the ruling coalition has a comfortable majority in the assembly. In Pristina, Kosovo’s parliament on Monday adopted a “resolution” approving the so-calledBrusselsaccord, which grants some autonomy to ethnic Serbs living in Kosovo who refuse to recognise Pristina’s authority.

“The parliament expresses its support and gives its approval to the accord on the normalisation of relations” betweenBelgradeand Pristina, the decision said.

The decisions came as European Union foreign ministers were meeting inLuxembourgfor discussions that will include talks on the European Commission’s reports on progress made bySerbiaand Kosovo in their bids for EU membership.

The normalisation accord betweenSerbiaand Kosovo is one of the key conditions for both sides to move closer to the EU.

Serbiais expectingBrusselsto set a much-coveted date to start membership talks, while Pristina wants to make the first steps towards applying for candidacy.

The 15-point accord spells out the basic principles that would give a level of autonomy to some 40,000 ethnic Serbs living in the north of predominantly ethnic Albanian Kosovo.

The text of the accord has yet to be made public by the EU, but according to local media inSerbiaand Kosovo, the Kosovo Serbs will have their own police and justice representatives, working under Pristina’s authority, in the areas where they make up a majority of the population.

“Municipal elections shall be organised in the northern municipalities in 2013,” an unofficial draft of the text said.

It also noted that an “implementation plan, including the time frame, shall be produced by April 26.”

“It is agreed that neither side will block or encourage others to block the other side’s progress in their respective EU paths,” it added.

But the deal has angered Kosovo Serbs in the north who have called for a protest rally to be held in Kosovska Mitrovica later on Monday, the main town in the northern area of the breakaway territory.