In an interview for Top Channel’s journalist, Muhamed Veliu, the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, summarized the agreements that were reached during the Ochrid agreement and said that he is determined to remove the border between Albania and Kosovo.
Rama criticized some stances of Albin Kurti, who said that this initiative was rushed and without consulting him.
Rama said that the next PM of Kosovo should pay more attention to this matter, and asks him to take a look at the reasons why the Customs unification between Kosovo and Albania never became reality.
“This initiative was started five years ago, together with the visa-free movement. Three countries are now pushing it forward. It has been a long battle of mine with the President of Serbia. He is now agreeing, and that will allow us to remove the border with Kosovo. There is absolutely nothing else, so there is no rush in this. As for the consultation with the PM, Kosovo has been present in the discussion table for the past five years. The President and the Prime Ministers of Kosovo have agreed to turn it into reality for the sake of the people. Those who decide to not attend the meeting should decide whether they need consultations or not. If there is a moment that someone decides that I shouldn’t go, that person should call me, and if his reasons are convincing, I will not go either. Our ‘No’ would become mutual”, Rama said
Albin Kurti thinks that Albania should remove the borders with Kosovo first, and then see this process in a bigger picture. Is this a fair stance?
“I don’t want to say that it is unfair. It will be addressed when Kurti will become a full-time Prime Minister and when he will be more attentive to this process. The border can only be removed in this way, by agreeing with others. How would he remove Kosovo’s borders If Serbia isn’t part of the process? Or does he want to go to war, and have the USA, the EU and Cuba decide about the border, together with the rest of them. That would be crazy. By only mentioning it, the removal of borders, we have raised red flags. As regards the argument that the border should be removed with Kosovo first, all the discussion points in this project are the ones that should have been done with Kosovo, except for the free movement one, which is possible now, but it wasn’t before. Albin Kurti should look at the documents and protocols, and see the Customs Union project that Albania approved under our Minister of Finances, Arben Ahmetaj. We made a lot of work with the Kosovo side, but in the end, they refused, with Isa Mustafa’s government. Ramush Haradinaj then came to Tirana and said that this will be the first one to be done, but then he changed his mind and postponed it. I am not blaming him, I am just saying that preaching is necessary for politics, but facts are necessary when you become PM”, Rama said.