TIRANA, Nov. 26 – At the joint meeting that took place in Kosovo’s Peja between the Albanian and Kosovo governments on Monday, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama spoke about the cooperation between the countries’ foreign ministries to achieve the national unification between Albania and neighboring Kosovo.
During his joint meeting speech, Rama invited Kosovo counterpart Ramush Haradinaj to approve that both the Albanian and Kosovo foreign ministry to begin working on a common strategic draft that will unite Albanians by the year 2025.
“Albania, Kosovo and the way to Albanian union in the horizon of 2025. A demographic, economic, social document of both political systems, and all of this. I know very well what Belgrade or any other place will say but I see Albanian union as a necessity in the path to the EU and the EU should stop employing a two-faced approach.
He added that Albania cannot indefinitely wait for the European Union to take a decision regarding the country’s eventual membership, while Kosovo is already tired of waiting for the EU to approve visa-free travel for its citizens within the union, although all other countries in the region already benefit from visa liberalization and Serbia “keeps opening accession chapters.”
Having conducted five governmental meetings so far, Rama said the time has finally come to pass from words to action and the governments went on to sign a number of other agreements which foresee that within the first six months of 2019 there will be no trade tariffs and roaming tariffs between Kosovo and Albania but an established customs union.
Additional agreements mentioned during the speech for the media was unification of all issued documents and driving licenses.
Concerning Kosovo’s decision last week to place a full trade ban with Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and which had both official Belgrade and the EU calling for the Kosovo government to back down immediately, Rama said it is “Serbia’s stabs on Kosovo’s back” which fully explain it.
“It is an irrational decision under normal conditions, but quite normal in irrational conditions such as those outlining the two-faced approach of Serbia. Whoever sees the 100 percent trade tariff as an economic decision is wrong. No, 100 percent tariff is a political response to the continuing excesses of Serbia’s supremacist behavior towards Kosovo,” he said.
Kosovo’s government decision to place a full trade ban came only two weeks after official Prishtina had imposed a ten percent trade tariff tax from all products coming from Serbia and Bosnia – a decision which had Vucic immediately call for a pause on normalization talks until it was revoked and the EU call for Kosovo to back down.
Failing to become an Interpol member last week and continuously struggling to be recognized on the international arena, Kosovo politicians and government members blamed Serbia’s “angry lobbying” against Kosovo and called the ban a “necessary political maneuver.”
This time, in response to Kosovo’s decision, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said Belgrade will not be reciprocating Kosovo’s trade ban, but added alternative reactions were being looked into.
According to official numbers, last year Serbia’s exports to Kosovo reached a market value of 440 million euros (502.3 million dollars), while its imports reached 21 million euros (23.97 million dollars).