Serbian and Albanian PMs clash over Kosovo

Rama calls it 'independent' on historic visit, Vucic angered

10 November, 16:00

    Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama (L) and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic (C) give a press conference in Belgrade, Serbia Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama (L) and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic (C) give a press conference in Belgrade, Serbia

    (ANSAmed) - BELGRADE - The first visit in 68 years by an Albanian head of government in Serbia turned thorny on Monday when Serbian prime minister Aleksandar Vucic and his Albanian counterpart, Edi Rama, got into a public argument over the independence of Kosovo at a televised press conference. ''Independent Kosovo is an undeniable regional and European reality, and it must be respected,'' said Rama, leading to an angered reaction from Vucic, who said he had not expected such ''provocation''. ''I regret that Rama has used this opportunity to discuss issues not agree upon. I cannot allow him to do so, and it is my duty not to allow anyone to humiliate Serbia in Belgrade,'' he said, visibly annoyed. ''I do not know what connection Rama has with Kosovo.

    Kosovo is part of Serbia according to the constitution, and it has never had and will never have any relationship with Albania.'' Despite the row, Vucic said that he intended to continue talks with Rama, whose visit marks ''a new beginning in relations between Serbia and Albania''. Vucic noted that talks with his Albanian counterpart had not been easy. ''But I am convinced that our shared problems can be resolved, and that the solution can only be found through negotiations,'' he said. ''This visit marks a new beginning, and I hope that pragmatic talks between Serbia and Albanian will concentrate on progress not only of our political and economic relations but also on relations in the entire region,'' said the Serbian prime minister.(ANSAmed).

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