President Thaci rubs elbows with Putin in Paris Peace Forum

A peace forum in Paris on Monday brought together dozens of global leaders, including Kosovo President Hashim Thaci who posted his encounters on social media.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci was one of many political leaders invited by French President Emmanuel Macron to attend the first Paris Peace Forum on Sunday, an event held to improve international cooperation between countries worldwide, which was preceded by the 100th anniversary of the World War One armistice on Saturday.

On Monday, Thaci posted a tweet of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the first ever between the two presidents. Although Russia has always opposed Kosovo’s independence from Serbia that was declared in 2008, with Putin calling it a “terrible precedent,” Thaci cites him saying that Russia will support a peaceful agreement between Kosovo and Serbia.

Thaci also met with U.S. President Donald Trump the same day, saying that he expressed his gratitude to the United States of America for its crucial role in the freedom, independence and state-building in Kosovo.

“It is encouraging to hear that President Trump ‘100 per cent supports achieving a legally binding agreement between Kosovo and Serbia.’ We in Kosovo are and will always be thankful to the U.S.A. and the American people,” Thaci wrote on Facebook.

Thaci wrote that he requested support for efforts made by Kosovo and the European Union for the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, saying that “opposers of peace” are aware that a peaceful agreement between Kosovo and Serbia would infringe on their “destructive plan” to deceive and divide Europe.

“Balkan citizens know conflict of interest and ideological influence very well. But, the democratic world will not allow destructive forces to win over the minds and capital cities of the Balkans, Europe and beyond,” he said. “Our peoples owe it to ourselves and new generations to erase the frontline that has damaged our region for centuries.”

Thaci was the only Balkan politician to share a seating area with prominent world leaders. According to B92, French ambassador to Serbia Frederic Mondoloni apologized to Serbia and its people regarding the seating arrangement, highlighting that “we [France] are very close with Serbia.”

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic thanked Mondoloni for his message and the “respect he showed for the Serb victims [of WWI].”

Thaci also met with German chancellor Angela Merkel, saying on Twitter that Germany’s support is decisive for the agreement between Kosovo and Serbia.

Germany has opposed the proposal of a “border correction” between Kosovo and Serbia, whose major proponent is Thaci himself, with Bundestag member Peter Beyer recently saying that such solution “is unacceptable and has a high risk.”

The first ever edition of the Paris Peace Forum is scheduled to conclude on Tuesday, with many debates, discussions and networking sessions on the schedule.

12/11/2018 - 14:56

12 November 2018 - 14:56

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