Albanian PM moots co-presidency with Kosovo

PRISTINA — Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said Sunday his country and Kosovo could one day have a single president as a "symbol of national unity" between Tirana and Pristina.

In a remark certain to anger Belgrade, Rama noted that the two neighbours, 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 recognised 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 normalise 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 neighbourly 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 UN protection. — AFP




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