Albania: Ethnic Division of Kosovo Is Absurd IdeaWorld | November 9, 2011, Wednesday // 19:59| views
Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha (L) accompanied by his Macedonian counterpart Nikola Gruevski (R) inspect the honour guard in Skopje, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on 09 November 2011. EPA/BGNES
Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha has made it clear that his country opposes the division of Kosovo along ethnic lines, explaining that keeping the border intact is of essential interest to all countries in the region.
"Dividing Kosovo is an absurd idea and respecting the borders of Kosovo is of essential interest for all the countries in the region," Berisha told a joint press conference with his Macedonian counterpart Nikola Gruevski in Skopje Wednesday, as cited by Xinhua.
Berisha, on a one-day official visit to Macedonia, said that "the time for the people who were going around with maps in their pockets for division of Kosovo is over."
Kosovo, where 90% of its two million people are ethnic Albanians, has been in the spotlight of the international community in the last few months because of the tensions in the northern part that is mostly populated by Serbs.
Serbs have blocked the main roads in the north as a protest to Pristina's attempt to put its own customs and check points at the borders.
NATO's Kosovo Force, or KFOR, which has 5 000 troops on the ground, has tried to remove the blockades but met resistance of the local Serbs.
Kosovo, a southern Serbian province, unilaterally proclaimed independence in February 2008. About 80 out of 193 UN member countries have recognized Kosovo, but Serbia has vehemently opposes Kosovo's independence; major non-recognizers of Kosovo include Russia, China, and 5 out of the 27 EU member states: Spain, Greece, Romania, Cyprus, and Slovakia.
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