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Kosovo: Albania, Kosovo to merge consular services to cut bureaucracy

last update: October 24, 17:19

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Tirana, 24 Oct. (AKI) - The Albanian government on approved an agreement to merge consular services abroad with those of Kosovo in order to cut “bureaucratic costs”, the government said on its web site on Monday.

Kosovo where the majority of the population is Albanian declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which Belgrade opposes. The independence has been recognized by more than 80 countries, including the United States and 22 out of 27 members of the European Union.

“Albanians should feel the same way in Tirana and in Pristina,” Albanian prime minister Sali Berisha said last week. Similar practices should be applied to other areas, like customs, culture and education to reduce costs and to draw closer “two sister states,” he added.

“We have to strengthen cooperation within the same legal framework and practices in order to reduce bureaucratic barriers between citizens of Albania and Kosovo,” Berisha said.

Serbian officials claim Kosovo independence was just the first step towards unification with Albania and the creation of “Greater Albania”, which would incorporate ethnic Albanians living in Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and northern Greece.

Albanian and Kosovo officials have denied such intentions and the idea is opposed by the international community, including bog powers which recognized Kosovo, for fears it would destabilize the entire region.

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