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Kosovo PM slams idea of Serbia land-swap deal vital for opening door to EU membership

Kosovo PM slams idea of Serbia land-swap deal vital for opening door to EU membership
Copyright AP Photo/Visar KryeziuVisar Kryeziu
Copyright AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu
By Nial O'Reilly
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Kosovans have suffered enough, said the country's prime minister, as he hit out at the possibility of a land-swap deal with Serbia

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Kosovo prime minister Albin Kurti has dampened hopes that a land-swap deal with Serbia could unblock the path to European Union membership for the two neighbours.

A normalisation of relations between the two countries is a pre-condition for membership of the union. And international peace brokers have been promoting the idea of a land-swap as a resolution for outstanding border disagreements.

But Kurti told Euronews Albania that Kosovans had already suffered enough.

“Why should we lose, I do not understand such a question,” he said. “Let others lose, why shall we? We have suffered a lot, we already have so many losses of people and territory, why should we give more? This is pressure from Serbia, signifying that someone is surrendering. This is Serbia’s aspiration."

Under proposals being pushed by the US in particular, sovereignty in areas north of Mitrovica and in the Presovo Valley would be transferred.

NATO helped Kosovo fight for independence from Serbia and Montenegro in the 1998-1999 Kosovo War. But Russia, China, Spain and Greece are among the countries that don’t recognise it as an independent country.

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