12:26 GMT23 October 2020
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    BELGRADE (Sputnik) - President of the self-proclaimed republic of Kosovo Hashim Thaci, PM Ramush Haradinaj and Assembly President Kadri Veseli held an unscheduled meeting on Thursday and decided to deny exchanging territories with Serbia for the sake of resolving long-standing conflict, Radio and Television of Kosovo reported.

    Media reported citing Haradinaj that the republic's leadership had reached a consensus that there would be no exchange of territories with Serbia at Brussels talks.

    A diplomatic source in Brussels told Sputnik earlier on Thursday that the European Union was counting on a global and legally binding agreement between Serbia and Kosovo by the spring of 2019.

    READ MORE: Serbia: The Kosovo Conundrum

    The next round of negotiations between Thaci and Vucic, mediated by the head of EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, is scheduled for September 7 in Brussels. Mogherini said on Wednesday that she expected "difficult, but possible" negotiations on a sustainable agreement between Kosovo and Serbia.

    Serbia and the self-proclaimed republic of Kosovo are currently engaged in a conflict over their borders. In early August, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that he favored partitioning Kosovo along ethnic lines as a means of avoiding further conflicts. According to this plan, Serbia would give up its southern areas, mostly inhabited by Albanians, for Kosovo's territories where the Serbian population prevails. However, Thaci rejected the idea.

    In 2008, Kosovo authorities unilaterally declared independence from Serbia, which still regards it as its Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija. In 2013, the Brussels Agreement on normalizing relations between Serbia and Kosovo was signed as the European Union persuaded Serbia to begin cooperating with Kosovo. In 2015, an accord on forming the self-governing association of the Serb-dominated regions of Kosovo was signed.

    READ MORE: Vucic Calls on Kosovo Serbs Not to 'React to Provocation' Despite Tensions

    The EU-set deadline for the implementation of the above-mentioned agreements by Kosovo expired on August 4. Pristina's failure to stick to the terms of the agreements resulted in an escalation of tensions in the region.


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    territorial dispute, Ramush Haradinaj, Aleksandar Vucic, Hashim Thaci, Serbia, Kosovo
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