Albin Kurti (right) and Edi Rama in Prishtina, September 2021. Photo: EPA-EFE/VALDRIN XHEMAJ

PM Kurti Insists on Biannual Governments Meeting Before Meeting Albanian PM

During his tour around the Balkans, Albanian PM Edi Rama met most of his counterparts. However, he left Kosovo without meeting Kosovo’s PM, Albin Kurti, after the latter refused to meet.

As part of his Balkan tour, Albanian PM Edi Rama visited North Macedonia and Kosovo on Thursday, where he met with North Macedonia’s Prime Minister, Dimitar Kovacevski, Kosovo’s President Vjosa Osmani, and the Assembly Speaker, Glauk Konjufca. However, he did not meet with the Kosovo PM, Albin Kurti. 

Kosovo’s Presidency announced that among the topics discussed between Osmani and Rama were the situation in the north of Kosovo, the NATO summit, and the Berlin Process Summit.

“The President and Prime Minister agreed to continue coordination for the benefit of the citizens of our two countries, as well as for regional peace and security,” said the Presidency in a communique.

While Osmani was meeting with Rama, American Ambassador Jeffrey Hovenier was seen entering the building of the Assembly of Kosovo.

BIRN sources have announced that Hovenier met separately with Rama at the Assembly building in Kosovo.

A meeting that did not take place was that between Rama and PM Kurti. Kurti stated on Wednesday that he can only meet Rama tête-à-tête after the biannual traditional meeting between the two governments, which Rama canceled three weeks ago, takes place. Rama justified the cancellation by citing the aggravation of Kosovo’s relations with Euro-Atlantic allies.

“I am ready to meet with Prime Minister Edi Rama within the framework of the meeting of the two governments, not without that meeting,” Kurti said at a press conference.

In response, on Thursday, the Government of Albania signed 13 agreements between Albania and Kosovo, which were expected to be signed at the meeting of the two governments on June 14 of this year.

Regarding this, the Assembly Speaker, Glauk Konjufca, said that he does not think that there were any hard feelings from Kurti and added that he does not rule out the possibility of a meeting between the two prime ministers.

“We have been hurt by the cancellation of the meeting of the two governments, but not so hurt as to not wait for Rama at all because we must always look from the point of view of the interest of our nation,” Konjufca said.

Meanwhile, in North Macedonia, Rama and Kovacevski held a media conference where Rama was asked about the Open Balkan and the possibility that the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, will not meet him during his visit to Kosovo.

“When I go to Kosovo, I still hope that Albin has not forgotten the kanuni [Code of Leke Dukagjini] that when someone comes to your house, the door is open even for the enemy, and it is forbidden to throw him out until he has finished speaking,” Rama said.

“When it comes to the Open Balkan, I would go back a thousand times and redo it a thousand times. The Open Balkan is not an exclusive initiative; it is one of the 72 initiatives that exist in this region,” Rama added.

According to him, the region has benefited from the Open Balkan.

He emphasized that the Open Balkan should not be connected with the fraternal relations between Kosovo and Albania or the enmity between Kosovo and Serbia.

This article was edited on July 7, 13:47, to correct for the reference of the meeting between the two Governments that takes place twice per year (biannual meeting), and not once per year (annual meeting), as was previously stated. 

07/07/2023 - 13:11

07 July 2023 - 13:11

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