Exchange of territories between Serbia and Kosovo: A hoax letter to Nikolic?

President Tomislav Nikolic has not received a letter from a US congressman reportedly proposing “an exchange of territories,” the daily Vecernje Novosti said.

Sources at the Presidency said on Monday afternoon they were unaware of the existence of such a letter, and had only heard about it “from the media.”

Earlier, the Blic daily reported that U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican who chairs the US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats, had sent a letter to Nikolic.

According to the newspaper, Rohrabacher proposed “an exchange of territories” in southern Serbia for those in northern Kosovo as “a solution that would ease tensions in this part of the Balkans.”

Southern Serbia has the largest ethnic Albanian minority in Serbia outside of Kosovo itself, while the north of Kosovo is predominantly inhabited by Serbs.

Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, Serbia’s southern province, unilaterally declared independence in 2008 – a move Serbia considers a violation of its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

According to the daily’s Sunday edition, the US congressman wrote that “instead of the negative examples, such as sending a train with provocative symbols to Kosovo” it may be in the mutual interest to consider “an exchange of territories that would result in a greater number of Serbs in Serbia and a greater number of Kosovars (Kosovo Albanians) in Kosovo.”  According to the same source, Rohrabacher stated that this option was “possible” and, “should not be ignored.”

 (B92, 06.02.2017)

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