Kosovo leader stands firm on land swap talks with Serbia

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Kosovo’s government says that a proposed border swap with Serbia isn’t negotiable.

Following a meeting on Wednesday, Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said he would “welcome any idea or suggestion for the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue but a land swap never will be negotiated.”

The European Union has told Serbia and Kosovo they must normalize their ties to have a chance to join the bloc.

Kosovo declared independence from Belgrade in 2008, which Serbia still refuses to recognize.

Earlier this year, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci proposed a “border correction,” with Kosovo getting southern Serbia’s Presevo Valley and giving nothing in exchange, without explaining how Serbia would accept that.

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Officials in Serbia and Kosovo have suggested a land swap — Serbia’s Presevo Valley for Kosovo’s northern Mitrovica — could help the negotiations.

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