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Kosovo expects to reach deal with Serbia in 2018

'The deal between Kosovo and Serbia, which I believe will happen in 2018, will be a historic, a comprehensive agreement' | Estonian Foreign Ministry

Kosovo expects to resolve outstanding issues with Serbia in 2018 by reaching an "historic" agreement that would pave the way for the Balkan country to get a seat at the United Nations, President Hashim Thaci said on Tuesday.

According to sources, as Belgrade moves closer to membership in the European Union, Serbian authorities are under pressure to resolve relations with neighbors including Kosovo.

"The deal between Kosovo and Serbia, which I believe will happen in 2018, will be a historic, a comprehensive agreement which will result in Kosovo’s membership in United Nations,” Thaci told Reuters in an interview.

Serbia lost control over Kosovo in 1999 when NATO waged a bombing campaign to halt killings of ethnic Albanians in a two-year counter-insurgency war. Nearly a decade later, in 2008, Kosovo declared independence, backed by the United States and most of the Western European states.

Kosovo's media have reported that some of the leading Kosovo politicians, including Thaci, who was commander of the KLA, could be indicted by the court or called to testify.

"This was an historic injustice but for the sake of keeping the strategic partnership with the US, EU and NATO we created that (the court)," Thaci said. "Kosovo has nothing to hide."

Reports say that some EU moves can be seen as harmful by any unbiased observer – such as the EU’s financial, diplomatic, and military support for Kosovo’s secession from Serbia. Or the EU’s pressure on the region to estrange itself from Russia – beginning with support for Montenegro’s membership in NATO and ending with the recent call on the Serbian government to shut down a Russian humanitarian center in the Serbian city of Nis.