Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi and Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama have not waived the exchange of territories between Kosovo and Serbia, according to Thaçi.
Thaçi wrote on Wednesday that he and Rama talked on the need to raise awareness among Albanians that the Presheva Valley, an area in Serbia with an Albanian majority, should be part of Kosovo, and the border between Albania and Kosovo should be removed.
In a Facebook post, Thaçi wrote:
“I just had a meeting with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania, Edi Rama, with whom we talked, inter alia, about the necessity of full opening of the Kosovo-Albania border and creation of an Albanian area without borders, under the Euro-Atlantic umbrella. In this meeting we raised the need to correct historical injustices by joining the Albanian factor around [the goal] to raise awareness about the right for Presheva, Medvedja and Bujanovac to join the territory of the Republic of Kosovo.”
This statement comes after the Berlin Summit where the plan for territorial exchanges between Kosovo and Serbia was widely reported as having been rejected by Chancellor Merkel and President Macron. Serbia’s Alexandar Vučić said after the summit that the idea for this plan had been his but it had failed.
One day before, Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj stated that he had grounded suspicion that Rama, Thaçi and Vučić had discussed the exchange territories together with EU’s mediator Federica Mogherini.
Prime Minister Edi Rama has not yet expressed his opinion on the fate of the plan for territorial exchange and his support of it. He has also neither confirmed nor denied that during his visit in Serbia in 2016 he and Vučić discussed and agreed on this plan in principle.
However, in a likely response to Haradinaj, on Wednesday Rama said that the process for a territorial swap between Kosovo and Serbia would involve many states, parliaments, referendums, and it was “stupid” to believe that it could be done behind closed doors. He added that allegations against him “conspiring to partition Kosovo and redraw the world map” were all lies.
In an interview for Albanian TV ‘Top Channel’ on Wednesday, Thaçi said that he stood behind the idea of “border correction”, and that such plan was “not buried at the Berlin Summit”. This summit, according to him, was a “random summit” where the opinions of Western Balkan leaders were heard. Thaçi added that he would work on this plan, as the US did not set “red lines”.
President Thaçi visited Albania on May 8th-9th to attend the Brdo-Brijuni Process Summit, along with the Presidents of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. The summit was hosted by Albania’s President Ilir Meta, with guest of honor the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda and the EU’s chief diplomat Federica Mogherini.