POST TIME: 8 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Kosovo president warns Serbia talks ‘difficult’

Kosovo president warns Serbia talks ‘difficult’

BRUSSELS: Kosovo president Hashim Thaci cautioned yesterday that hammering out a deal with his Serbian counterpart would be “difficult”, as the pair arrived in Brussels for talks after speculation about a possible land-swap, reports AFP.

The former war foes are in EU-led negotiations to resolve a festering dispute over Kosovo’s independence.

Serbia refuses to recognise Kosovo, an Albanian-majority former southern province that broke away from the then Yugoslav republic in a bloody war in 1998-1999 and declared independence a decade later.

The talks have been stalled for months but started generating attention—and concern—in recent months after Thaci and his counterpart Aleksandar Vucic signalled an openness to the idea of border changes.

The presidents have not laid out any detailed plans, but the talk has alarmed critics, who say redrawing the map of the Balkans could wreak havoc in a fragile region scarred by war.

Thaci has been open about the fact that he would like to bring an Albanian-majority strip of Serbia, the Presevo Valley, into Kosovo.

The speculation is that it could be traded for Kosovo’s Serb-dominated north, which has never submitted to Pristina’s authority.