Serbian PM makes historic visit to Albania Aleksandar Vucic says that while Serbia and Albania have differences, their problems can be solved through dialogue

Serbian and Albanian leaders

Serbian and Albanian leaders

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina – (AA) Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic made a historic visit to the Albanian capital, Tirana, Wednesday, promising to solve bilateral issues through the process of dialogue instead of war.

Vucic’s two-day visit to Albania is the first such visit by the head of a Serbian government since the end of the 1998-99 Kosovo War.

Addressing a joint press conference with his Albania counterpart Edi Rama, he said that while differences between both sides remained, they agreed that dialogue was the only forward.

According to Serbia’s state news agency Tanjug, Vucic said: “The fact is that we did not agree on Kosovo.Serbia treats Kosovo as its integral part, while Albania treats Kosovo as an independent state. We think differently, speak differently, but the problems are not solved by war, but dialogue.”

He also called for collaboration on infrastructure projects to strengthen bilateral ties.

“We talked about the development of tourism and how to motivate the citizens of Serbia to come to Tirana. We are well on the way, we have to work on it. The fact is that we did not agree on the issue of Kosovo and Metohija,” Vucic said, according to Tanjug.

He also emphasized on the importance of constructing a highway to connect Belgrade with Tirana.

Rama said that the Serbian premier’s historic visit had provided a unique opportunity to Albanians and Serbs to work for the benefit of their countries and the entire region just the way the Germans and the French did at the end of the Second World War.

“The courage that Germany and France have shown after the Second World War, regardless of the blood that was shed, encourages us that we too can move forward in the construction of coexistence in peace regardless of [our] religious and other differences.

“The fact that we have different views on certain issues does not mean that we are not aware of the fact that the two countries play an important role in the preservation of peace,” the Albanian premier said.

Kosovo, with a population more than 90 per cent ethnic Albanians, declared independence from Serbiain 2008 and is recognized by about 110 states, including U.S., Germany, France, and Turkey.

Albania, a Muslim-majority country with a population of around three million people, has also been a NATO member since 2009 and is a European Union candidate country.

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