Albanian Foreign Minister avoids addressing controversial topics during his Kosovo visit - Gazeta Express

Albanian Foreign Minister avoids addressing controversial topics during his Kosovo visit

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Gazeta Express

19/02/2020 19:45

Albanian acting minister of Foreign Affairs, Gent Cakaj, visited Pristina on Wednesday when he met leaders of institutions of Kosovo. In all his meetings with President Hashim Thaci, Prime Minister Albin Kurti, Speaker of Parliament Vjosa Osmani, and Foreign Minister Glauk Konjufca, Albanian PM Cakaj avoided addressing controversial topics which seems to divide the politics of Tirana and Pristina. Remains to be seen whether Albanian PM Edi Rama sent his foreign minister to “reset” relations between Kosovo and Albania, but while in Pristina Cakaj avoided addressing issues such as correction of border, 100 percent tax on Serbian good, or the project of Rama and Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic on “Balkans Mini-Schengen.”

Kosovo-Albania relations reached its lowest during second term of Albanian PM Rama. As prime minister of Albania, Rama has filed a lawsuit against former Kosovo prime minister, Ramush Haradinaj, following a clash on correction of borders and tariffs on Serbia. Rama sided with Serbian President Vucic and Kosovo president Hashim Thaci in support of the idea on partition of Kosovo, whereas during a meeting in Berlin Rama pressured Haradinaj to drop tariffs on Serbian imports.  

In addition to Haradinaj, Rama traded barbs with newly appointed prime minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, after the latter opposed the “Balkans Mini-Schengen” project promoted by Rama. As a consequence, Rama served, what was considered by many analysts and media in Kosovo, “a cold welcome” for Kurti in his official visit abroad as Prime Minister. The “Mini-Schengen” project was opposed by all political leaders in Kosovo and its representatives boycotted all meetings organised initially in Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania. Rama appearing in a joint press conference with Serbian President Vucic accused Kosovo leaders of choosing self-isolation by not joining the regional initiative.

Following this saga of clashes and attacks towards Kosovo, Rama sent on Wednesday his acting minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Gent Cakaj, likely to ease the relations between the two neighbours. However, Cakaj, who is one of the two ministers in Rama’s cabinet born in Pristina, has not addressed any of the hot topics standing between Tirana and Pristina.

Cakaj without mentioning the “Mini-Schenge” project said Kosovo and Albania should remove border. This was reiterated by Kosovo president Thaci while hosting Cakaj in his Office. President Thaci choosing carefully his words said that Cakaj and his chief Rama are united when it comes to Kosovo without elaborating further.

While in Pristina Cakaj proposed an agreement between Kosovo and Albania to lobby on granting Kosovo new recognitions. During the meeting with Speaker of Parliament, Vjosa Osmani, Cakaj mentioned a plan on margining of Kosovo-Albania embassies and consulates, a move as Cakaj put it, would send a political message. At the end of his visit, Cakaj met Prime Minister Kurti, to discuss mutual relations and on creating conditions for joint diplomatic representations all over the world. /GazetaExpress/