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Belgrade Slams Albanian PM’s Kosovo Union Talk

Serbia reacts angrily after Edi Rama speaks of one day uniting his country and Kosovo under a single president.

20 February 2018

Nenad Popovic, Serbia's minister without portfolio in charge of innovation and technological development, said yesterday that Rama's (pictured) comments about a single presidency "point to a clear and unequivocal plan for the creation of a so-called Greater Albania in the Balkans and on Serbian soil," RFE/RL reports.


Rama’s remark came during an address to Kosovo’s parliament Sunday marking the 10th anniversary of the country’s independence from Serbia. Serbian officials have often accused Albanian leaders of seeking to form a “Greater Albania” uniting their ethnic kin in Kosovo and Macedonia.


Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic returned to that theme in the context of its strained relations with Kosovo, telling a local TV station yesterday that Albanians “reject any compromise solution and want a Greater Albania,” B92 reports.


The European Union said Rama’s remarks were “not helpful,” RFE says.


"[S]tatements which might be interpreted as political interference in neighboring countries are not helpful in building good neighborly relations," European Commission spokeswoman Catherine Ray said on 19 February.


Rama is not shy about proposing a common Albanian-Kosovan state, Deutsche Welle writes.


A united state was "inevitable and unquestionable," he told a Kosovo broadcaster in 2015.


"The question is how it will happen. … Will it happen in the context of the EU as a natural process and understood by all, or will it happen as a reaction to EU blindness or laziness."


After Rama last year told Politico a “little union” could not be ruled out if the prospect of EU membership was taken away, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci echoed him, saying if EU hopes disappeared, "all Albanians in the region will live in a single, united" space.


Thaci denied to DW that he was calling for Greater Albania, however.



  • In October, Thaci asked his Albanian counterpart Ilir Meta to support the issuance of Albanian passports to Kosovo citizens so they could benefit from visa-free travel to the EU. Meta reportedly said the idea was “not a solution for Kosovo citizens.” But according to EurActiv he also confirmed that Tirana had received a number of citizenship applications from Kosovan nationals and spoke of the need to “put an end to the isolation, not to say discrimination that Kosovo citizens are exposed to.”


  • Talks between Serbia and Kosovo on normalizing relations are set to resume later this month, DW says.


  • In his remarks yesterday, Vucic said he will broach a proposed “Kosovo solution” by late March or early April, according to B92.

Compiled by Ky Krauthamer

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