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Hashim Thaçi Meets With Trump and Putin

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Thaçi, who met with Trump while in Paris on 11 November during commemorations of the end of World War I, said that Trump supported a legally binding agreement between Kosovo and Serbia after the two agreed “on the need to extend peace and reconciliation” in the Western Balkans.

“I am grateful for his and U.S. support,” Thaçi wrote in a tweet giving details of the meeting of the two presidents.

The Kosovar leader said he also discussed Priština’s normalization talks with Belgrade during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Paris.

“On this topic, President Putin was clear: ‘If you (Kosovo & Serbia) achieve a peaceful agreement, Russia will support it,” he wrote on Twitter.

The two Balkan countries are both pursuing normalization in hopes of furthering their bids to join the European Union.

EU diplomats have said they must reach a binding agreement on sensitive issues such as their common border and whether Serbia will recognize Kosovo’s independence, which it declared 10 years ago.

This summer, Thaçi and his Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vučić, both raised the possibility of redrawing their border in comments that alarmed some observers who feared it might revive the ethnic divisions that fed the 1990s Balkans war.

Thaci said in a November 9 interview with the AFP news agency that any revised border with Serbia that comes out of the two neighbours’ normalization talks will not be drawn along ethnic lines.

The interview came a day after a short, tense meeting with Vučić in Brussels that was hosted by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

Serbia has never recognized the independence of its former province although more than 110 other countries have done so. Serbian ally Russia has for years blocked Kosovo’s recognition at the United Nations.

Kosovo’s recent decision to create its own army has provoked anger from its own ethnic Serb minority as well as from Serbia.

NATO, which currently leads the KFOR military force that ensures Kosovo’s security, has also expressed reservations over the idea.

Source: RadioFreeEurope

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