Oral Contribution: 5th March, 2019
... I have some general points about contemporary issues in Kosovo and remarks about the contribution that the Kosovan diaspora can make. I was pleased that last week the President of Kosovo said that land swaps would never occur. Last year he talked about border corrections with Serbia, but that was the wrong approach. Quite a lot of money was spent on lobbying in London and elsewhere on the issue, but I am glad the President has changed approach. The Prime Minister and the Parliament were right to be wary of land swaps, border corrections or whatever they are called. They could be very destabilising in the Balkans.
A delegation from North Macedonia is in Parliament at the moment, whom I was talking to yesterday. When borders start getting swapped in the Balkans, it can be destabilising. One member of the diaspora told me that land swaps should never be an issue for just one man to decide, and Kosovo as a nation will never allow it to happen. The Parliament’s approach to have a negotiating team, involving opposition parties, is a good one. Given that the President has clarified his position, I hope the United States will back away from statements that some officials have made to suggest land swaps, deals with President Putin and so on. A sober approach is needed, and I hope progress can be made.
It was good to see the Kosovo army on parade for the first time. Before this year, they were a defence force. It is an appropriate move for Kosovo to make.