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Kosovo-Montenegro demarcation of territory must be resolved: Pacolli

Behgjet Isa Pacolli, First Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo and Minister of Foreign Affairs | Eportali Lajme

Kosovo’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Behgjet Pacolli considers the demarcation between Montenegro and Kosovo must be resolved.

He pointed out that the contract had been signed, and Montenegro had ratified it. According to Pacolli, the issue was de jure a done deal.

“I have no problem with this, as I believe that the agreement should be respected. We do not have any conflict with Montenegro, but our public is divided on this issue. This can be seen in the Kosovo parliament. As far as Montenegro is concerned, the case is closed, so we should see how to solve the issue,” Pacolli told Deutsche Welle.

He also added that he did not believe “Montenegro wanted to take Kosovo’s territory or that Kosovo wanted to take the territory of Montenegro”.

Years after that communist state was ripped apart by the Balkan wars in the 1990s, border disputes remain one of many difficulties in untangling the former Yugoslavia, along with ethnic hostility, violence and political gridlock.

Western allies have told Kosovo that clarifying borders with its ex-Yugoslav foes, including Montenegro, is a prerequisite to getting closer ties with the European Union, in particular securing visa-free travel. Nevertheless, EU diplomats say Kosovo may have to wait longer to win visa-free travel, even if the agreement is ratified in time for a September debate in the European Parliament.

Kosovo broke from Serbia in 1999 when NATO bombed for 11 weeks to halt the killing and expulsion of ethnic Albanian civilians by Serbian forces trying to crush a two-year insurgency.

Montenegro has recognized Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia, but Serbia has not. Most nations that emerged from the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s have unresolved border issues.