interview 07 Feb 17

Presevo Mayor: Territorial Swap Would Destabilise Balkans

The mayor of Serbia's predominantly ethnic Albanian town of Presevo dismissed a US Congressman's idea of swapping mainly Albanian parts of southern Serbia for the Serb-populated part of northern Kosovo.

Maja Zivanovic
BIRN
Belgrade

Presevo. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Planeti.

Presevo Mayor Sciprim Arifi said that a proposal by member of the US Congress Dana Rohrabacher for "an exchange of territories" between Serbia and Kosovo would undermine regional stability and go clearly against EU policy.

Arifi told BIRN in an interview that such swaps were not official US policy and, in that context, the idea was “just one opinion, nothing more and nothing less”.

The Serbian newspaper Blic published an article on Monday saying that Republican Congressman Rohrabacher, also chair of the US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats, had sent the proposal in a letter to Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic.

The letter proposed "an exchange of territories" in southern Serbia for those in northern Kosovo as "a solution that would ease tensions in this part of the Balkans".

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