Albania president rejects Kosovo passport request

Kosovos president Hashim Thaci welcomes Albanias President Ilir Meta, left, during a welcome ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Kosovos capital Pristina. Meta is in one day official visit to Kosovo. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)The Associated Press
Kosovo's president Hashim Thaci welcomes Albania's President Ilir Meta, left, during a welcome ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017, in Kosovo's capital Pristina. Meta is in one day official visit to Kosovo. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

Albania's president has turned down a request from his Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaci to issue Albanian passports for citizens in neighboring Kosovo, the only nation in Europe excluded from a visa-free European travel zone.

Ilir Meta, who is visiting Kosovo Wednesday, said the solution was "through dialogue."

The European Union insists Kosovo must approve a border demarcation deal with Montenegro before its citizens can enjoy visa-free travel within the so-called Schengen zone.

Opposition lawmakers in Kosovo have refused to ratify that deal, saying it meant Kosovo would lose land.

Albania has enjoyed access to the visa-free regime since 2010. Kosovo's 1.9 million population is mainly ethnic Albanian.