Sunday, February 5, 2017

Rama Upholds Kosovo's Sovereignty on Pristina Visit

On a visit to Pristina at a troubled time for the EU-led Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said his country stood 'side by side' with Kosovo in its efforts to defend its sovereignty.

Fatjona Mejdini


Albanian PM, Edi Rama (left) and his Kosovo counterpart Isa Mustafa on Thursday in Pristina. Photo: Edi Rama's Facebook page

Albania's Prime Minister used an official visit to Kosovo on Thursday to stress the deep solidarity between the two countries at a time of serious tension between Kosovo and Serbia and following tough talks in Brussels between the two sides.

Guesting on a show on Thursday night on TV Klan Kosovo, Rama and Kosovo President Hashim Thaci talked about tensions with Serbia, about the controversial wall built by Serbs in the divided Kosovo town of Mitrovica, and about the train bearing the slogan "Kosovo is Serbia" that Serbia tried to send to the northern part of Kosovo.

Rama used the event to repeat that Albania stood by Kosovo's side when it comes to the issue of Kosovo's sovereignty over its territory.

"The issue of Kosovo's territory was closed on the day Kosovo declared independence [in 2008]," Rama said.

Kosovo and Albania are ... side by side in promoting peace, but also, in the theoretical hypothesis that this sovereignty needs to protected from anybody threatening it, we will remain stay side by side," Rama said.

Rama emphasised that this was just a hypothetical scenario as he did not see the sovereignty of Kosovo as currently at risk.

"We don't have to push this further, however there is no chance of Kosovo being violated on its territory, not even on a single square metre of it," Rama emphasized.

On Facebook on Friday, Rama repeated the solidarity that Albania shares with Kosovo in the wake of the latest tensions with Serbia.

"In Pristina ... we talked about the latest developments and joint challenges, highlighting the brotherly solidarity between Albania and Kosovo on the joint and difficult path towards peace and the democratisation of our states," he wrote.

On his visit to Pristina, Rama, met his counterpart, Isa Mustafa, President Thaci and the Mayor of Pristina, Shpend Ahmeti.

He also visited the office of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo party, AAK, whose leader, Ramush Haradinaj, remains detained in France under a Serbian warrant for war crimes.

Serbia's Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vucic, criticised Rama's visit to the AAK party's office in Kosovo and accused Rama of encouraging its "extremists".

"I don't want to comment on Rama's visit to Haradinaj's party, but if I visited Serbian extremists, the whole EU would react," he said on Thursday, according to Serbia's Tanjug news agency.

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