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31 Aug, 2018 12:25

EU ministers warn against Serbia-Kosovo land-swap plans

Germany warned on Friday that redrawing Serbia’s border with Kosovo would fan ethnic tensions, while other EU states seeking peace in the Balkans rejected land swaps as too dangerous. Belgrade and Pristina have both this month raised the idea of redrawing their border, Reuters said. Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci said on August 14 that he would present his plan to Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic when they meet in September in Brussels. “We believe that this can tear open too many old wounds in the population and so we are very skeptical,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said. Other EU foreign ministers echoed his position, with Luxembourg’s Jean Asselborn fearing “very negative consequences,” and Finland’s Timo Soini saying it was risky. Most Serbs view Kosovo as the cradle of their nation and the Orthodox Christian faith. Serbia, under the constitution, considers Kosovo an integral part of it.