Albania’s Rama: Day of mourning in Belgrade the worst signal by Serbia

NEWS 26.09.202318:20
Ludovic MARIN / AFP

The day of mourning declared in Belgrade for the members of an armed group killed following clashes with the Kosovo Police after a police officer was killed in Kosovo is the worst signal Serbia could have sent to the region and Euro-Atlantic community, said Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, and called on Pristina to avoid unilateral action.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Rama said that Belgrade should open a serious investigation into the members of “that criminal group, their links with arms traffickers and other persons or entities, potentially engaged in creating an armed movement in the north of Kosovo.”

Instead, he said, Belgrade is “fanning the flames of an armed conflict like it hasn’t since 1999.”

This is not only inexcusable and unacceptable, but should also be strongly condemned with the full force of words and instruments at the disposal of the Euro-Atlantic community, stressed the Albanian Prime Minister.

Rama said this is the time for Serbia to clearly and decisively declare itself on whether it wants to stand together with Europe and the 21st century democratic world, or with its own shadow.

“With the values and principles of the European Union (EU) and Euro-Atlantic community, or with the ghosts and crimes of its inglorious past of the 90s,” said Rama.

He added that the EU and the UN also need to decide whether they will raise the democratic alarm to the highest level to stop the escalation of the conflict in the north of Kosovo, which, in Rama’s opinion, has entered the most dangerous phase since 1999, or if they will continue to keep the dialogue on the normalization of relations and KFOR’s commitment at the same level, which is now completely insufficient.

I therefore appeal to Albania’s great friends and to the Western Balkans’ strategic allies – do not leave today’s action for tomorrow, said Rama.

He added that Kosovo must also think seriously and decide if it wants to continue on the path of action, separately from its friends and allies, or act in line and understanding with the Euro-Atlantic community.

All other paths but this one are “paths of illusion with a painful ending that take Kosovo away from its main goal,” said the Albanian Prime Minister.