In an interview with BIRN, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said Serbian leaders in the past had often tried to discuss dividing Kosovo – but he had always refused to countenance such talk.
Die Morina BIRN Pristina
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci said in an interview with BIRN's TV show Jeta ne Kosove that Serbian officials in past had put the question of the division of Kosovo on the table, which he said he always refused to discuss.
“Since the first meetings in 2011, 2012, 2013 and further on, at every meeting, [Foreign MInister Ivica] Dacic and [President Aleksandar] Vucic highlighted that the best solution would be the division of Kosovo … they are interested in territory and not in the Kosovo Serbs,” Thaci said.
“Ideas were also presented in the media for an exchange of territories, but I have never allowed such a thing to be discussed when I was present,” Thaci added.
Since the end of the Kosovo conflict in 1999, the mainly Serbian far north of Kosovo has been beyond the effective control of the government in Pristina, and Belgrade long continued to finance local security, judicial, health and educational institutions there.
While some Serbs living in the rest of Kosovo have cooperated with the Pristina authorities since Kosovo declared independence in 2008, the north only partially came under Pristina’s control after Kosovo and Serbia in April 2013 reached the so-called Brussels deal – which is yet to be implemented.
Some politicians have mentioned the division of Kosovo as a solution to the dispute, claiming that Serbia might recognise the independence of its former province if the far north of Kosovo was attached to Serbia.