Kosovo says any Serbia land swap affects Balkans

Kosovo will not consider any land swap with Serbia along ethnic lines in the region as such a move could have wider negative consequences, its PM said.

Kosovo says any Serbia land swap affects Balkans


Kosovo will not consider any land swap with Serbia along ethnic lines in the region as such a move could have wider negative consequences, its prime minister said on Saturday.

Backed by the U.S. and major EU powers, Kosovo declared independence in 2008 and has been recognised by 69 U.N. member states.

"It is a very bad idea," Hashim Thaci told Reuters on the sidelines of an international conference. "My intention is not to change borders, but integrate in Euro-Atlantic structures."

"If we tolerate a change of the borders anywhere, then there will be a chain effect and consequences for the whole region."

Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians make up 90 percent of the population, declared independence two years ago. Yet its authority does not extend to the territory north of the river running through Mitrovica, where Serbs are in the majority.

Some analysts and diplomats have suggested that Serbia trade part of its southern Presevo Valley bordering Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians make up the majority, for north Mitrovica.

"The consequences (of a swap) would be in Macedonia, in Kosovo, in Serbia itself, in Montenegro and Bosnia. Every state in the region has its own Mitrovica," said Thaci, a former commander in Kosovo's liberation war.

"ICC rule"


Serbia has asked the International Court of Justice to rule on the legality of the move, a decision that could come as early as this month.

"We expect the ruling to come very soon," Thaci said in the walled city of Dubrovnik on the Adriatic Sea. "We expect new diplomatic recognitions after that, and a new phase of relations with Serbia.

Tony Blair, British prime minister at the time of the 1998-99 war, said on Friday Kosovo's independence will not be impacted by the ICJ verdict.

"The International Court of Justice will make its ruling but Kosovo's independence is here to stay now," Blair told Reuters in an interview at the end of a two-day visit.

"It is possible to envisage a situation where in time to come Serbia and Kosovo are actually in the European Union together, it is not impossible."


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 11 Temmuz 2010, 19:53

SeydiAli

YORUM EKLE