Thursday, November 18, 2010

Balkans: 'Most Kosovo Albanians favour unification with Albania'

French soldiers, members of the First Infantry Regiment of Marines and also part of the NATO forces in Kosovo, stand at attention between the graves at the French military cemetery during Remembrance Day, marking the 92th anniversary of the end of World War I, in Skopje November 11, 2010

Belgrade, 18 Nov. (AKI) – An an overwhelming majority of Kosovo Albanians - 81 percent - favour unification with neighbouring Albania, according to an international survey published on Thursday.

A total of 48.8 per cent of Albanians in Kosovo and 41.8 in Macedonia believe unification could take place soon.

In Albania, support for unification has fallen to 62.8 pe cent from 68 percent last year.

The survey findings came less than three years after Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority declared independence from Serbia.

The survey, conducted by Gallup Balkan Monitor, also showed that 51.9 percent of ethnic Albanians in Macedonia favoured unification within a so-called “Greater Albania” that would also contain Kosovo and Albania.

Ethnic Albanians make 25 percent of Macedonia’s two million population and enjoy considerable autonomy in the western part of the country, bordering Albania.

Kosovo's approximately two million Albanians make up 90 percent of the population, which comprises just 100,000 remaining Serbs.

Majority Albanians declared independence in February 2008, with the support of western powers, on the condition that Kosovo can’t form a union with any other country.

Serbia opposes Kosovo independence and 71.2 percent of Serbs would rather forsake European Union membership than renounce Kosovo, according to the survey.

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