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    A Kosovo Albanian man sells flags in Pristina on February 16, 2011 in preparation for the third anniversary of Kosovo's declaration of independence

    What's the Price of 'Falling in Love' With 'Independent Kosovo'?

    © AFP 2017/ ARMEND NIMANI
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    According to fake reports paid for by lobbyists of the so-called “Kosovo Republic” appearing in Serbian media over the past couple of weeks, the Serbian-populated northern Kosovo is going to rejoin Serbia in exchange for Albanian-populated southern municipalities becoming part of the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo.

    In a commentary for Sputnik, Serbian political analyst Brankica Ristic wrote that with the recent change of guard in Washington, the Albanian lobby in the United States is desperately trying to stay on the list of US priorities. First, Serbia’s Albanian-language news agency Presheva Jone published an “interview” with  Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic where he allegedly called for an international conference to be held to discuss the proposed “land swap.”

    “Dacic never gave such an interview and he is going to file a lawsuit against the news agency. A few days later they started talking about a letter allegedly sent by US Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher to Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, proposing ‘a land swap’ involving southern parts of central Serbia and northern Kosovo,” Ristic wrote.

    President Nikolic said he had never received any such letter from Congressman Rohrabacher.

    In an interview with Sputnik Serbia, President Nicolic's foreign policy adviser Ivan Mrkic said that, in keeping with the Serbian constitution, all the abovementioned territories belong to Serbia.

    “What we see here is a unilateral approach as Congressman Rohrabacher considers Kosovo an independent state, and we don’t. Even if we had received such a letter, the president would have sent it to our parliamentary committee on foreign affairs,” Mrkic said.

    During the war in Bosnia Dana Rohrabacher called for NATO airstrikes on the Serbian army on Serbian territory and even criticized the Alliance for not being active enough in its clampdown on the Serbs.

    Rohrabacher was previously commended by the Albanian American Civic League (AACL), the biggest pro-Albanian lobby in the US, for his calls to take the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) off the list of organizations the US considers as being terrorist.

    An elderly Kosovo Muslim prays on the street in front of a mosque during Friday Prayer on July 1, 2011 in Pristina
    © AFP 2017/ ARMEND NIMANI
    He also advised the US to arm the KLA and never misses a chance to support “independent Kosovo.”

    “During President Trump’s inaugural ball in Washington, Kosovo’s ambassador in the US Vlora Çitaku briefly chatted with the US President in what many observers believe cost the AACL $1 million,” Brankica Ristic wrote.

    He added that after Donald Trump’s victory the AACL reportedly enlisted the help also of the Clinton Foundation.

    “Making [Hillary Clinton] suddenly fall in love with independent Kosovo costs between $350,000 and $500,000 plus travel and other expenses,” Ristic noted.

    Kosovo caught the attention of the US Congress back in 1990 in the lead-up to the series of ethnically-based wars and insurgencies fought from 1991 to 2001 inside the territory of the former Yugoslavia.

    A conference on human rights in Eastern Europe that was held in the United States focused on the situation in Kosovo and was preceded by a visit there by a delegation of US Senators and Congressmen.

    “The Kosovo issue was later put on the international agenda with the Kosovo Albanians consistently improving their positions, not least thanks to people like Joseph Biden and Eliot Engel. As a result, the US Congress passed a series of anti-Yugoslav resolutions. All this lobbying culminated in the unilateral declaration of Kosovo independence in 2008,” Brankica Ristic wrote in conclusion.

    Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence in 2008 and is recognized by over 100 UN member states. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo’s independence.

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    Tags:
    unilateral approach, "land swap", fake news, lobbying, Albanian American Civic League (AACL), UN Congress, NATO, Kosovo Liberation Army, Ivan Mrkic, Brankica Ristic, Hillary Clinton, Dana Rohrabacher, Donald Trump, Tomislav Nikolic, Ivica Dacic, Serbia, Kosovo
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