Macedonia and Kosovo Mend Fences With Deals


By Sinisa Jakov Marusic | BIRN |Skopje

June 25, 2013

Macedonian Police Minister Gordana Jankulovska and her counterpart in Kosovo, Bajram Rexhepi, on Monday signed an agreement to open a new border crossing at Belanovce-Stancic.

The signing ceremony took place at the existing Globocica crossing.

The new crossing, expected to open by the end of this year or early next year, will represent “a bridge for further cooperation in all areas” and boost the regional economy and people’s mobility, Jakulovska said at the ceremony.

Meanwhile in Skopje, Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Industry, Mimoza Kusari-Lila, visited the industrial development zone at Bunardzik and signed a deal on tourism cooperation between the two governments.

The agreements come less than one month after a major diplomatic row chilled relations between Kosovo and Macedonia.

Kosovo officials expressed anger in May after the country did not receive an invitation to attend the summit of the South-East European Cooperation Process in Macedonia, mostly due to objections from Serbia, which does not recognise Kosovo’s independence.

Kosovo accused Macedonia of being “anti-European” after President Atifete Jahjaga of Kosovo was left out of the regional meeting of heads of state.

The summit was eventually scrapped after other regional presidents then cancelled. Both the Albanian and Croatian heads of state did so out of solidarity with Kosovo.

Macedonia recognised neighbouring Kosovo back in 2008, despite objections from Serbia, which insists that Kosovo remains part of its own territory. Macedonia has strong economic ties with both neighbours.

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