Kosovo, Montenegro to Form Joint Border Commission

By Die Morina

The Kosovo and Montenegro presidents have presented a joint statement on the controversial issue of border demarcation, saying they want to form a joint working body to identify remaining disagreements.

The President of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, on Friday, issued a joint statement with the President of Montenegro, Filip Vujanovic, about the controversial issue of marking the border, saying the two states had agreed to work together on identifying points of dispute.

Thaci spoke of the formation of a joint working body with Montenegro, which will identify disagreements over the border and make the necessary corrections in Cakor and Zhlep, the disputed mountain peaks on the border.

Thaci also said Kosovo would make “all efforts to ratify the agreement” once the dispute was cleared up. He also said that he had informed Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj about this.

“I met Haradinaj, he received the statement from my side, and we had a good discussion. I hope and believe the PM will have a very clear stance,” Thaci said, adding that Haradinaj would present his own stance on the statement.

“I know that there is a will on the part of the PM to finish our work and make visa liberalisation happen,” Thaci stated, referring to Kosovo's lack of an agreement with the EU allowing Kosovo nationals to travel into the EU Schengen zone without visas.

The joint statement of the two presidents came two days after the Montenegrin Prime Minister visited Kosovo.

A border agreement was agreed between the two countries in 2015, but Kosovo has failed to ratify it due to strong opposition from several parties, which claim it deprives Kosovo of territory.

The agreement was supposed to be put to a vote in the Kosovo parliament in September 2016, but ratification was postponed following violent clashes over the issue.

Opposition parties claim the mountain peaks of Cakor and Belluha, located on the border, assigned to Montenegro, are in fact part of Kosovo.

The EU has pressed hard for an agreement, warning Kosovo that it cannot expect progress on the visa issue until this is solved.

The Balkan Insight

 26.02.2018

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