Albanian PM Rama: I did not go to Prisitina to marry Kurti

NEWS 07.07.202320:11
Edi Rama
Tanjug/AP/Andreea Alexandru

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said in Podgorica, Montenegro, that he did not go to Pristina this week “to marry” Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti.

“The Kosovo Prime Minister and I have different views on a concrete situation. He sees it as a situation that should be resolved without meeting me,” Rama told a joint media conference with Montenegro’s caretaker Prime Minister Dritan Abazovic when asked to comment on relations between Albania and Kosovo.

He reiterated that, regardless of the European Union’s (EU) position, he will always invite the Kosovo Prime Minister to meetings on the Berlin Process, and that “in Tirana, Kurti is always at home.”

Asked if he believes that he will meet with Kurti in Tirana on July 17, Rama said it is his duty to invite him, but that he cannot bring him over, or “kidnap him.”

Asked if he has spoken to Kurti lately, Abazovic said they met a few days ago in North Macedonia.

“We don’t want to influence either side, we just offered them to meet here, if they want to, they are always welcome. We did not get a reply, but I did not sense any kind of negativity regarding the offer,” he said.

Rama said the Open Balkan initiative is not just his, but a joint initiative, and that the countries in the region should focus on the Berlin Process.

The Albanian Prime Minister was also asked if he has given up on the Open Balkan initiative and he replied that this initiative “is not his private company that he can open or close, but a joint initiative of several countries.” However, he reiterated that the Open Balkan initiative has “fulfilled its mission.”

“We should focus on the Berlin Process, Albania is the host of the Berlin Process and we cannot allow ourselves to be distracted, and we have a chance to include an EU financial plan in the Process,” said Rama.

The Albanian Prime Minister said it was a pleasure, as always, to meet with Montenegro’s Prime Minister Abazovic because “he is one of the few people in this part of Europe who views politics as a citizen rather than as a member of a people.”

“It is very important for us to have a common position at the coming NATO summit regarding the situation in the region. The future generations will not forgive us if we don’t do all in our power to resolve the conflicts that have produced great bloodshed and caused deep divisions and hatred in the region,” said Rama.

He explained that the idea is to take advantage of the summit in Tirana, within the Berlin Process, where “we should have a united approach” and get “Germany’s full support in the process.”

Rama said he informed Abazovic about the informal meeting with EU representatives on July 17 in Tirana.

“We are not in any way prepared for conflict, we want peace to work, for people to get as many opportunities as possible, as well as jobs and income, rather than to listen to fairy tales about heroes who belong to the past,” said Rama.

Montenegrin Prime Minister Abazovic said the aim of Rama’s visit to Podgorica is “de-escalation of the situation in the region,” and for the region to turn to the future.

“The region has to focus on progress and on a joint path to the European Union,” said Abazovic.

“The Albanian Prime Minister’s initiative is supported in Montenegro. We do not support any kind of violent problem solving. We want everything to be peaceful and we want to generate as much stability as possible,” said Abazovic.