Kosovo’s Speaker of Parliament Criticizes EU Chief Diplomat’s Statement on Land Swap Deal

The Speaker of Kosovo’s Parliament, Vjosa Osmani has criticized the EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell’s statement that the EU does not exclude a land swap deal between Kosovo and Serbia.

“I call on all international actors to refrain from legitimizing backward ideas in the process of dialogue btw Kosovo and Serbia. Any proposed solution that doesn’t have a strong basis in the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kosovo will be rejected decisively by our people,” Osmani tweeted on Tuesday in reaction to Borrell’s statement.

In a longer statement on Facebook, Osmani said that the EU cannot simply serve as a forum for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue but must also provide guidance based on the EU principles and values: “Changing ethnic boundaries is not part of these principles and values.”

She called on the international actors involved in the dialogue to reject efforts by Presidents of Kosovo and Serbia for a land swap deal.

“The international community must reject the efforts of certain individuals to push forward any proposal for a solution based on ethnic divisions and change of borders, because in essence this would be against the values ​​of the European Union and does not ensure sustainable peace in the region. Above all, such solutions would not be supported by our citizens and would therefore remain unenforceable. History teaches us that solutions and ideas without civic support end in failure,” Osmani concluded.

Former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj’s party, Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) also slammed Borrell’s statement for being “detrimental to the peace and stability of the region, and we consider it a destructive approach in relation to their role as facilitators in the US-led dialogue on reaching a final agreement on mutual recognition on the existing borders between Kosovo and Serbia.”

They assured that any agreement including land swap would be “strongly rejected” by Kosovo people.

Acting Prime Minister Albin Kurti and his Vetevendosje party are in staunch opposition with the plan for exchange of territories that has been allegedly discussed since 2018 between Presidents Hashim Thaci and Aleksandar Vucic.

The other two largest parties, Democratic League of Kosovo and Democratic Party of Kosovo have not reacted to Borrell’s statement.