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Serbia Threatens Kosovo’s Foreign Minister With Arrest

Serbian authorities have threatened to arrest Kosovar Foreign Minister Hashim Thaci, who is scheduled to attend a regional conference in Belgrade next week.

Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said on April 16 that Belgrade will arrest Thaci, who in 1997 was sentenced to 10 years in jail for “terrorism,” if he crosses into Serbia.

On April 16, Thaci’s advisor Ardian Arifaj told the media that “it depends on the Belgrade authorities whether Thaci will go or not."

However, on April 17, Arifaj said that Thaci “has in principle accepted an invitation to visit Belgrade" to attend an April 24 conference on the accession of the Western Balkans into the European Union.

Thaci was the former leader of the ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), the guerrilla group that fought against Serbian forces during the 1998-1999 Kosovo conflict.

Thaci also oversaw Kosovo’s declaration of independence in 2008 and has been involved in EU-mediated talks since then.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters

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