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Albanian Prime Minister to visit Serbia for the first time in nearly 70 years

November 10, 2014, 9:24 UTC+3

Edi Rama's visit was scheduled for October 22 but was postponed because of the worsening relations between the countries after an incident during a football match in Belgrade on October 14

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Edi Rama

Edi Rama

© AP Photo/Hektor Pustina

BELGRADE, November 10. /TASS/. Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama on November 10 will pay a historic visit to Serbia — the first in nearly 70 years.

According to the press service of the Prime Minister of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic, the program of the visit includes a meeting between the two leaders, the Plenary session of Serbia and Albania delegations, the signing of bilateral agreements and a joint press conference. The subject of negotiations and content of the documents are not announced.

The program of the visit of the Albanian Prime Minister was made public only on Sunday evening. Last Saturday, just two days before the event, Vucic, answering reporters' questions, said he still does not know the program.

Rama's visit was originally planned on October 22 but was postponed due to worsening relations between the countries after the incident during a football match between Albania and Serbia on October 14 in Belgrade.

Albanian fans launched a drone over the stadium with a flag of the so-called "Greater Albania" attached to it. Serbian national team player Stefan Mitrovic tore the flag and two Albanian footballers immediately tried to take it away from him. The mass brawl of players, joined by a group of fans who ran from the stands, began, resulting in cancellation of the match.

The idea of a "Greater Albania" implies incorporation of southern regions of Serbia, including Kosovo and the Presevo Valley, north-western regions of Macedonia and south-west of Montenegro to the modern Albanian. The ideologues of Albanian nationalism also consider the northern regions of Greece their territory, despite the fact that there is almost no Albanian population left there, in contrast to the other regions.

Albania, which used to be part of the Ottoman Empire, became independent in 1912. Historically difficult relationship between bordering Serbia and Albania have been exacerbated after the bloody conflict between Serbs and Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo unilateral independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008, which Albania actively supported.

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