Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama stated that during a meeting with Kosovo’s Vetevendosje (Self-Determination Movement) Albin Kurti, who won the October 6 parliamentary elections, he will propose separate ministries for both Albania and Macedonia to improve the relations between the two.
Rama said these ministries would serve as institutions to address the challenges between the two countries.
The scheduled meeting between Rama and Kurti was announced by KosovaPress, while member of the Vetevendosje Movement Albulena Haxhiu was the one to speak about Rama’s idea, saying Vetevendosje has not yet formally accepted the proposal, but that it welcomes it.
Haxhiu said strengthening relations between Kosovo and Albania will be a priority of the Kurti government.
According to her, the government led by Kurti will focus on vitalizing and implementation all the agreements signed between Kosovo and Albania through the years.
“Strengthening relations between Kosovo and Albania is very important for Vetevendosje and in this regard any proposal that is in the service of our national interests will undoubtedly be supported by the Vetevendosje Movement and the future government…Our national interests will be a priority of the Kurti government, so we will work very hard in this regard not only for such a ministry, but also for the series of agreements between the previous government and the Albanian side, as there has not been the slightest commitment to implement them, only make them public. The approach of the previous government was more about appearing to be cooperating with Albania, rather than actually implementing the agreements,”said Haxhiu.
However, economic experts have assessed the Kosovo minister’s statement and that of the Albanian side as a populist statement made for political marketing.
Former Head of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce Safet Gerxhaliu, regarding these ministries, said that Rama’s proposal is in the continuation of many other spectacular proposals.
According to him, there can be no increase in the level of cooperation between Kosovo and Albania with such statements, because according to Gerxhaliu, there is a need for concrete implementation of the agreements signed between Kosovo and Albania.
“Political life is not just about taking pictures, we need concretization, the very fact that we have a large number of agreements that with every government are just getting rewritten and not implemented is the best evidence that much more is said than done regarding the cooperation between Albania and Kosovo. It is time to be concrete and to have concrete agreements and a readiness. In this respect, it is far more necessary to require institutional responsibility for their implementation than to come up with banners with such statements as to a common government. If you analyze the cooperation between Kosovo and Albania, it is more like a cooperation between the two companies,” he said.
Gerxhaliu has urged Rama to be more serious in the implementation of Albania’s obligations deriving from the Stabilization and Association Agreement.
“Such a Rama proposal is in the wake of many spectacular proposals making imposing photographs either in Peja or Prizren generating sterile statements, such as the statement for a common president and later for a joint ministry, all declarations that Rama’s advisers or even Rama himself cannot trust,” he said.
KosovaPress has also contacted the Chamber of Commerce in Albania regarding Rama’s for a special minister between Kosovo and Albania.
By phone, Chamber of Commerce Chairman Nikolin Jaka, while not commenting on the idea, said private-Albanian-Kosovo entrepreneurship forums would come out in December with a joint platform that would address both governments.
“Albania-Kosovo private entrepreneurship forums will come out in December with a ‘Albania-Kosovo, a reality of an economy’ platform, addressed to our two governments. What governments and prime ministers do is their job,” Jaka said on the phone.
Otherwise, a series of intergovernmental cooperation agreements have been signed between the governments of Kosovo and Albania in many areas, but their implementation has not yet happened.