Northern Kosovo Albanians Oppose Territorial Exchange with Serbia

Northern Kosovo Albanians oppose the proposal to trade territories between Kosovo and Serbia, that would consist, specifically, of Northern Mitrovica going to Serbia in exchange for the Presheva Valley that would go to Kosovo. This idea has been talked about lately by both countries’ leaders.

Radio Kosova interviewed several inhabitants of the Northern districts, who declared that Mitrovica held Kosovo’s largest and most important resources, therefore granting it to Serbia is no solution at all.

“The war was fought over Mitrovica. If we had given them Mitrovica from the start there wouldn’t have been a war in 1998–1999,” a Northern citizen stated.

“What is being talked about, of there being supposedly an exchange of territories, is not at all favorable for Kosovo. All of our largest natural resources are there. If we lose Trepça, Zveçan, and Ujëman, we lose Kosovo entirely, because these areas contain are greatest wealth,” another citizen from Zveçan declared.

For several days now, the territory exchange between Kosovo and Serbia has been proposed by Serbian President Vučić, as a condition for Serbia to recognize Kosovo’s independence and end the conflict between the two countries.

During his public addresses, Kosovar leader Hashim Thaçi uses “border correction” instead of “territory exchange,” opting to emphasise Kosova’s reunion with the Presheva Valley without explicitly disclosing what Serbia would gain in exchange for the Valley.

A “diplomatic offensive” is expected to begin in September, especially on the part of the Serbian President in order to gain international support for his proposal in achieving a final resolution.