Albania is preparing to welcome Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, the first Serbian leader ever to visit the nation.

Vucic's arrival on Wednesday follows Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama's visit to Belgrade in November, the first by an Albanian head of government to Serbia in 68 years.

Both countries have applied for EU membership. Albania is a NATO member while Serbia is still on the waiting list.

Relations between the two Balkan states remain strained, mainly over the former Serbian province of Kosovo where majority ethnic Albanians declared independence in 2008 which Serbia refused to recognize. Serbs consider Kosovo the cradle of its statehood and Christian Orthodox religion.