An exchange of territory between Serbia and Kosovo would open up Pandora's box in Southeast Europe, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in New York on Monday.
The Croatian president was in New York for the 74th UN General Assembly which she will address on Tuesday.
On Monday, the Croatian president met with UN Secretary-General Guterres and discussed with him the situation in Southeast Europe, notably Bosnia and Herzegovina, relations between Belgrade and Kosovo, and what Croatia "as the leader in the region will do to help further stabilise the situation and help solve outstanding issues."
"I mentioned the exchange of territory and said that it would be a very bad idea that would open up Pandora's box and lead to various demands for territorial swaps in the entire territory of former Yugoslavia," she said.
The Serbian state leadership earlier mentioned the possibility of exchanging the northern, Serb majority part of Kosovo for the Albanian majority south of Serbia, as a way for the two countries to get closer to resolving their dispute. That idea is strongly opposed by France and Germany while the United States and recently Austria said that they could accept such a solution.
Grabar-Kitarovic criticised the proposal for a territorial swap at a bilateral meeting with Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, whose position on the matter has changed.
Grabar-Kitarovic added that Guterres also wanted to know what Croatia would be doing during its chairmanship of the European Union and "how we will make use of it, for ourselves as well as for our neighbourhood."