Kosovo-Serbia talks: Why land swap could bridge divide

Image caption Under a land swap, Serbia would take back control over an area to the north of this bridge in Mitrovica

A historic moment or a proposal that would mean war? When it comes to Kosovo’s putative territory swap with Serbia, it depends who you ask.

Speculation abounds that the two parties could make the concept official as early as Friday, when their presidents meet for scheduled talks in Brussels.

The idea seems simple.

The Presevo Valley in southern Serbia, where the population is mostly ethnic Albanian, would join Kosovo.

In return, Serbia would re-establish full control over the majority ethnic-Serb area of Kosovo to the north of the River Ibar, which runs through the heart of Mitrovica.

An end to deadlock?

Proponents say a territory swap would, potentially, end the stalemate which has persisted for 10 years, since Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia.

“Border change may seem distasteful, but many regard it as a…

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