Albanian PM moots Kosovo co-presidency
PRISTINA – Agence France-Presse
In a remark certain to anger Belgrade, Rama noted that the two neighbors, both predominantly ethnic Albanian, already share diplomatic missions around the world, adding: “Why not a single president, as a symbol of national unity?”
Rama was addressing Kosovo’s parliament to mark the 10th anniversary of the country’s unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia, a move recognized by more than 110 countries, though not by Belgrade or Moscow. Serbia has repeatedly accused Tirana of wanting to build a “Greater Albania,” an aspiration it denies.
Efforts to normalize ties between Belgrade and Pristina, begun in 2011, have stalled.
Rama said he saw a future in which “Albanians and Serbians will co-exist... like two countries with good neighborly relations that are an integral part of the European Union.”
The 1998-99 Kosovo war, the last of the conflicts that broke up Yugoslavia, claimed more than 13,000 lives including more than 11,000 ethnic Albanians of Kosovo.
The conflict ended after a three-month NATO air campaign that forced Serbs out of Kosovo and put it under U.N. protection.