Kosovo-Serbia presidents clash during Tirana meeting

Gazeta Express
9 Maj 2019 17:27

Presidents Hashim Thaci of Kosovo and Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia met on Thursday in Tirana, Albania at the facilitation of the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini. Thaci and Vucic attended the Brdo-Brijuni Summit hosted by Albanian president, Ilir Meta.

According to the Belgrade media Vucic said that he never spoke about any modality of solving Kosovo issue or reaching any agreement. When commenting on Kosovo’s president idea on unification of the Presheva Vally with Kosovo, Vucic said: “I’ve had enough of hearing what Hashim does and doesn’t want. You, Hashim, depend on us. Things won’t go that way. I’m pleading with you to talk, not to be saying what you want, and what you don’t want. Would you like me to tell you what I don’t want?,” Vucic is quoted as saying, and adding: “What America will squeeze you (Pristina) into international institutions? You tried with (Croatian president) Kolinda, with (Slovenian president) Borut… you didn’t succeed. Did you think of it yourself, or did somebody help you out?”

Vucic repeated that he never spoke about solutions, but about reaching an agreement: “If that can happen – super, if not, we’ll live.” He also advised Thaci not to bring up the Serb Republic (RS) – the Serb entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina – without “really needing to”: “I know why you’re saying that – because Americans don’t want the RS. I could tell you that I won’t let you form an RS inside Serbia, and that is Kosovo,” Vucic said. He added that he “pushed through” many difficult solutions, and was pleading with (Pristina) to come to its senses. “Imagine if I said what you and (Albanian PM) Rama said yesterday in Tirana? Or what Kolinda said today? About unification. Hang on a minute, I get it, but hang on. If we arrive to a solution – great, if not, hopefully we’ll be smart enough to preserve the peace,” Vucic said.

He also dismissed Thaci’s announcement that going forward, he would be “demanding from Serbia in all gatherings to recognize Kosovo, plus the three municipalities from southern Serbia.” “Let me tell you something right away – never mind that, people, no way. Neither are they that strong, nor is Serbia that weak,” the president told reporters. Asked what the EU foreign policy chief had to say about all this, Vucic replied, “They are very unhappy with that and cannot understand it.” “I never like to do too much chest-thumping. Our position is difficult and we should be thinking about our position, how to build peace and how to improve our economy,” Vucic added.

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