Happy 12th Anniversary of Independence - With Kosovo's Tense Relations With The U.S. - Gazeta Express


Gazeta Express

17/02/2020 15:21

Happy 12th Anniversary of Independence – With Kosovo’s Tense Relations With The U.S.


Gazeta Express

17/02/2020 15:21

Do not judge this opinion by its headline. Find the essence on its content. Things are getting serious, but the Government of Kosovo seems not so. The tax on Serbian goods needs to be revoked and introducing reciprocity postponed.

by Berat Buzhala

Albin Kurti was seriously challenged and thrown directly into torrential waters only ten days after assuming office as new prime minister of Kosovo. This was not fair. Usually a kind of courtesy existed that every new prime minister be held into account for his first 100 days of work. But we lacked 100 comfortable days since 1389 when first Ottoman soldiers set their foot in the region. Kurti was not an exception. In fact we lacked 10 spare days for him.

We started judging him since the day one of his work, after his first interview, when he was still maybe adjusting himself with the Prime Minister’s position. Therefore, to a certain degree, his supporters, those who see him like a living prophet, are right getting angry when they see us aiming spears on his direction.

Luckily Kurti is not inexperienced. He never was a prime minister, but he used to deal with the prime ministers for a long time. He was asking for his voice to be heard for a long time. It is Kurti who for a long time stated that our politicians should be blamed for not knowing how to dialogue and negotiate with Serbia rather than pointing finger towards internationals. For a very long time Kurti said the local politicians are blackmailed, because of corruption, therefore they are ready to compromise to the detriment of state interests.  


Please go ahead.

I introduce you Richard Grenell. This is Pompeo. Mrs. Merkel, of course you know all of them, and this is Macron, the President of France. The others are their ambassadors, representing their governments in our Republic. You can tell them whatever you feel like telling. Convince them why we should have reciprocity with Serbia, but hurry up please, because time is ticking away. Do not try to convince us, because we know, but please explain to them who in addition to Kosovo have to face other problems, such as in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, global warming, NATO, G5 and other problems.  

Being right is not enough. In fact, in relations with great powers there is a permanent danger the justice be transformed into a curse. Kurds were and are right, for instance. Palestinians were and are right. But let’s say the world is full of injustice towards those who claim they are right.

Is good to understand and say it loudly that in international relations the justice is only one of the ingredients in a recipe with dozens or hundreds of other ingredients. Justice is not the main ingredient or fact. We know Muslims in Burma are right. Uyghur’s in China are right, Muslims in India also are right. But they are exposed to genocide, whereas the other part of the world simply just confirms the factual situation. These facts serve more to compile statistics for reports of international organizations dealing with human rights rather than having any practical importance.

Luckily Kosovo was miraculously saved at the end of the last century. There are people who paid a very high price for freedom. By being victims we all have paid a price. But if we turn our heads and look around we will see what price others are paying and what are gaining comparing with the price we have paid and what our benefits were. The difference is black and white.

Over the last two years we underwent a systematical political terror. And this terror had two main protagonists: Kosovo President Hashim Thaci and Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama. Both of them have treated us like idiots by appearing from one TV studio to the other. They have plotted and held meetings in pitch dark, and offended all those who expressed opinions opposite to theirs. They went as far as – obviously – by promising a swift and easy agreement with Serbia, managing to divide our allies, especially the U.S. in one side with Germany and Great Britain on the other side. The resistance on the other side against their ideas (where I do belong) was very strong.

With their lack of transparency Rama and Thaci managed to unite a group of people, politicians and journalists in opposing their cause, who under normal circumstances would have never been united. With great difficulties, and not without leaving scars, Rama and Thaci were stopped.

October elections held in Kosovo produced a new reality. The man who can be considered as the Patriarch of opposition, Albin Kurti, won the election. Now is his turn. For the time being everyone has stopped listening. All eyes are on him. The man who for 20 years spoke about everything, now is silent. Or he is speaking but is saying nothing. Or maybe he is saying something, but nothing of importance. He is simply demonstrating his oratory skills without any concrete benefit for the country. He is trying to ignore the elephant in the room, such as the dialogue with Serbia which is aimed at reaching a final agreement with Kosovo’s adversary.  

Many of us were skeptical since the beginning of the dialogue process. The speculations that this dialogue and negotiations will lead the country towards partition left no one indifferent. Former prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj, naively authorized Thaci to deal with negotiations with Serbia, because, as he said, he had no time to commit to dialogue “because of other internal issues.” Later he understood that he gave extended powers to a wrong man. There is no need to reiterate what happened next. A new ad-hoc mechanism was invented, such was the tax on Serbian goods, to halt the dialogue. We all know the way Kosovo Government introduced 100 percent tariffs on Serbian imports was infantile and ridiculous. How much you are saying? I think 10 percent is enough. 10 percent is not enough, why not 30 percent. Can we make it 100 percent? Yes it sounds good. Let’s do it, let it be 100 percent. Therefore this tax might have been 10, or 30, or maybe 2000 percent. All what it took was to be present in that office and give a proposal. But, later we understood the tax, or tariffs, served to a different purpose. International friends have hinted some of us with signals “not to give up” because the danger of partitioning of Kosovo was still present. And here we are two years later. Tumbling around! After waters started easing in our political environment, and after the PDK-AAK-Nsima (PAN) coalition lost, and former opposition won the election, those who stated that the tax was just a populist tool of former government, the U.S. Administration, interested to solve the Kosovo issue, was not staying cross handed.

(to be continued)