Kosovo’s President Thaçi tells Albania’s PM Rama that Kosovo can speak for itself

di Rama and Hashim Thaci during a Press Conference
Edi Rama and Hashim Thaci during a Press Conference

Tirana, Oct 20 (Tirana Echo) – Kosovo’s newly elected President Hashim Thaçi tells Albania’s prime Minister Edi Rama that he can talk about Kosovo but not on its behalf. Thaçi made his comments during an interview at prime-time talk show ‘Opinion’.

Mr. Rama has every right to talk on Kosovo, but not in its name. Legitimate institutions decide on Kosovo. I also talk about Albania when I am given the occasion, but the decision-making belongs to Tirana. We are not in competition together, but complementary throughout all our engagements”, said Thaçi.

Thaçi’s comments come after Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama visited Belgrade and Nish last week to meet with his Serbian counterpart Alexandar Vucic, where the two premiers agreed to move forward with bilateral cooperation and build the Nish-Durrës highway which goes through Kosovo.

Asked about an alleged new agreement between Serbia and Albania to build the Nish-Durrës highway, Thaçi said that “Albania should complete first of all its Durrës-Kukës highway where Kosovan citizens are dying daily in the unfinished bridges before it can think a connecting to Nish”.

The visit of Edi Rama has raised eyebrows across Kosovo’s political spectrum as the new state’s leadership viewed the Rama-Vucic meetings as a political show rather than a substantial meeting.

Speaking after his return from Serbia, Edi Rama told ‘Klan Kosova’ that he did not mediate for Kosovo’s participation at the Nish Summit and he does not wish to interfere with its internal affairs.

I don’t see strategic interests of Albanians in Albania and in Kosovo as divided interests, but at the same time I don’t interfere in the decisions belonging to Kosovo’s government in relation to third parties. If they ask a brotherly opinion I offer it with pleasure, but I never interfere, as I have never seen the old paternal behavior of Tirana towards Prishtina as something positive”, said Rama.

Critics of Rama in Tirana have labelled Thaci’s ‘attacks’ as another farse which serves Edi Rama for the next elections.

Kosovo’s President had every chance to properly attack Edi Rama, but as an experienced player on the ground, he gave Rama ‘a hand’ in his ambitions to become a regional protagonist“, said Nikolle Lesi, ditor in Chief of daily ‘Koha Jone.

Albania’s Edi Rama and Serbia’s Alexandar Vucic have visibly improved their relations and political contacts in recent months, after the so called ‘drone’ incident where a drone carrying a made-up map of greater Albania flew over Belgrade’s stadium violently interrupting the Serbia Albania UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying football match.

The two premiers are eager to show Brussels that bilateral relations between Serbia and Albania are improving, while critics knowledgeable across the region, have labelled the latest ‘warming up’ between Rama and Vucic as a political theatrical show serving personal political interests of both men in their respective capitals.

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