Kosovo has warned against any bid to divide it along ethnic lines as part of a deal to secure recognition of its independence from Serbia, sources said.
Serbia refuses to recognize Kosovo’s sovereignty. Some Serbian officials have suggested partitioning Kosovo, and giving northern, mostly Serb-inhabited areas back to Belgrade, in return for its acceptance of the more than 90 percent ethnic Albanian country’s independence.
Serbian foreign minister Ivica Dacic said he discussed the idea of dividing the territory of Kosovo, which has a population of two million, during talks in Washington last week. “The model of partition or delimitation is a proposal that I have pointed at as a solution . . . now all cards are on the table,” he said.
However, his Kosovo counterpart, Behgjet Pacolli, rejected any such plan on Wednesday, warning that it would open a “Pandora’s box” of territorial claims in a region still recovering from the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.
“I’m convinced that such a solution would be wrong for many reasons . . . the idea would be abused with huge unrest as a result,” Serbia’s N1 news service quoted him as saying.
President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci on Tuesday also dismissed any partition proposal. “I want to assure the people of Kosovo that there will be no force that will make Kosovo . . . agree to partition,” he said.
Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj for his part said earlier this month: “Division for me is war. I say this without hesitation and it is dangerous to talk about division.”
Kosovo broke away from Belgrade’s rule during a 1998-1999 war and it declared independence in 2008 after nine years of United Nations administration.