Rama Pays Visit to Pristina, Albania-Kosovo Joint Governmental Meeting in Durres in November

Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama paid an official visit to Pristina coming from New York where he attended the 76th session of the general debate of the UN General Assembly. In his speech in the general debate the PM, Rama asked the UN to recognize Kosovo which should take its legal seat at the world organization.

During his stay in Pristina Rama held official talks with his counterpart Albin Kurti and met other senior officials and leaders of different political parties.

"Albania must hold the first Intergovernmental Conference with the EU for negotiations. Kosovo needs to get approval from the CoE for visa liberalization. Both countries have long done their homework to get these positive developments. But whether they will happen this year, or when they will happen, these do not depend on either Albania or Kosovo," declared Albania's Prime Minister Edi Rama in a joint press conference with his counterpart Albin Kurti in Pristina on September 26.

According to Albania’s premier, Albania and Kosovo have no other way but to continue the reforms, not because Paris, Brussels or Berlin ask for this, but because this is the path of the renaissance legacy and the future of the children of both countries. He was fully aware of the difficulties of the EU integration process.

In Rama's view, the launch of the talks with the EU depends on the situation within the EU, where it must be agreed by 27 member countries that have all kinds of problems and their internal deadlines and have been preventing the EU from behaving for years as a single force and from keeping the word it gives. "How many times have you given the word to Kosovo that once the homework for fulfilling the conditions for visa liberalization is completed, the right decisions would finally be given and visas will be liberalized? It even added a 'deep tail' to that famous demarcation that had nothing to do with visas. The demarcation took place and look at where we are today," said Rama.

Meanwhile, the PM said that together they have discussed important topics for the start of cooperation between the two governments and it has been agreed to appoint a key person as coordinator of this joint effort, which will be directly linked to the respective offices. And he will have two passports, a symbolically important detail that he enjoys the full confidence of both prime ministers.

Prime Minister Rama said that he agreed with Prime Minister Albin Kurti to hold a joint meeting of the two governments in Durrës in the last week of November this year.

He reiterated the value of the initiative Open Balkans launched by him and Serb President Aleksandar Vucic which has been joined by North Macedonia but Kosovo, Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina do not take part in it.

In the meantime he supported that stance of Kosovo regarding the reciprocal measure on the license plates. Even earlier he said Kosovo is in its utmost right in raising this problem. “Now, for the problem to be solved, and to guarantee the reciprocity of license plates, a frozen conflict boomerang must be avoided (as it happened with the 100% tariff). Kosovo must engage in a dialogue, Serbia needs to cooperate, and the EU has to mediate it,” said Rama.

On his part The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti stated that they will work together with Albania for a unique market, so that citizens, services and capital and goods move as freely as possible.

“We have taken the mandates of our two governments of Kosovo and Albania at a time full of challenges: facing COVID-19, with the explosive variant "Delta", the economic recovery and the development of democratic institutions are some of our challenges that we will overcome together,” said Kurti.

He said that "we must increase cooperation for more justice, equality, development and welfare for Albanians on both sides of the border and the entire region."

"The connection between the two countries for the removal of barriers that cause difficulties and obstacles between us is necessary for our citizens and our economies. We will work together so that the market is as unique as possible, so that citizens, services and capital and goods move as freely as possible," stressed Kurti.

From 2014 until now, 6 joint meetings have been held between the two governments where 150 agreements, memoranda and protocols have been signed. Kurti said they also discussed the joint meeting of the two governments for which it was decided to start preparations by the two cabinets with the aim that it could be held in the second half of November.

The visit of Rama and his talks with Kurti might be a step towards the overcoming of the conflicts between the two of them and in some cases they have criticized harshly each other.  / Argumentum.al