"Serbs and Albanians could make another mistake"

The Serbs and the Albanians will be making yet another mistake, as the two biggest nations in the Balkans, if they fail to find a solution to the Kosovo issue.

Source: Tanjug
(EPA, file)
(EPA, file)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said this in an interview with the Vienna daily Kronen Zeitung, noting that finding a solution requires "compromises and concessions."

Vucic, who is on an official visit to Austria, thanked Chancellor Sebastian Kurz "for supporting Serbia, for always being open to the aspirations of our country, for being one of a few who talked with our people with respect."

"Now it's up to us to do our part of the task. The biggest problem is, of course, a solution to the Kosovo issue. For that reason we launched a dialogue among ourselves and we have to find a compromise, where the Albanians and the Serbs will have to make concessions. If we don't succeed in that, we will have made one more mistake in the history of the two biggest nations in the Balkans," he said.

Vucic added that he met several times with representatives of the Kosovo Albanians, and when asked whether there was any progress, said that the talks were taking place, and pointed out that in the last five years there had been "no ethnically motivated conflicts" (in Kosovo).

"After the recent murder of a Serb in Kosovo, we immediately made contact, to avoid escalation. I was in Kosovo to calm the Serbs down," he added.

Vucic at the same time had a message for the Albanians, saying that Serbia will not recognize Kosovo's independence - and that they do not have it, because that requires the Serbs.

"Without Serbia there is no UN membership, without Serbia there is no Intrpol membership, without Serbia there are no state visits to China," Vucic emphasized.

He said that "all the cards are on the table" and that if there is "give and take based on a fair principle " there can be a solution.

"And then for all doors of Europe would be opened for Serbia. Of course, we need to improve the rule of law, but on the other hand, we put our finances under control," said the president.

In an interview for AFP, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said that he "hopes for historic agreement with Serbia" in 2018.


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