World Bulletin / News Desk
Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama and Serbian premier Aleksandar Vucic took part in a panel discussion at the Belgrade Security Forum on stability in southeastern Europe.
Rama said the Trepca mining and metallurgy complex -- located in a majority-Serb part of Kosovo -- belonged to all citizens. The Kosovan parliament voted last week to nationalize the facility to save it from bankruptcy.
"Kosovo needs to understand that Trepca is the soul of Kosovo and it belongs to all who live in Kosovo -- Albanians and Serbs," said Rama.
However, Vucic replied: "Find a Serb who agrees with what they did."
Belgrade, which refused to recognize Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence, insists majority ownership of the mine -- which employs 5,000 people -- belongs to the Development Fund of the Republic of Serbia.
Trepca has two mines in northern Mitrovica, an area with a large Serb population in the majority ethnic-Albanian country. Although two shafts are managed by Serbs, a third in southern Mitrovica is managed by Albanians.
The Trepca company was the major mining operation in the former Yugoslavia, extracting 70 percent of the country's mineral output.