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Albanian premier wraps up 2-day Serbia visit

November 11, 2014

PRESEVO, Serbia (AP) — Albania’s prime minister has struck a conciliatory tone as he wrapped up a two-day trip to Serbia with a visit to the ethnic Albanian-dominated south.

Edi Rama said Tuesday the two countries need to overcome a troubled past and work toward EU membership.

Relations between Albania and Serbia hit a low during the 1998-99 Kosovo war. Soon after that conflict, ethnic Albanians in Serbia’s Presevo Valley staged an insurgency. The conflict ended in 2001 with a deal granting the ethnic Albanian minority more rights.

Rama’s visit, the first by an Albanian official in 68 years, was underlined with tensions as he remarked that Serbia has to come to terms with losing its former province.

Kosovo’s 2008 secession is fiercely rejected by Serbia.