Yesterday, former Prime Minister of Kosovo and leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) Ramush Haradinaj was arrested by the French authorities at the airport of Basel-Mulhouse, based on an international arrest warrant issued by the Serbian authorities in 2004, in which Haradinaj is accused of war crimes during the Kosovo Liberation War during 1998–99.
Kosovar and Albanian leaders immediately responded to the events, demanding his release.
Kosovar President Hashim Thaçi:
The arrest of Mr. Haradinaj based on an arrest warrant of the Serbian state is criminal and unacceptable in any case, in whichever state around the world. The state institutions of Kosovo are working with all the mechanisms at its disposal to have this mistake corrected as soon as possible and that Mr. Haradinaj is released, as he deserved.
This is yet another argument that Kosovo needs become a part of international institutions, so that they are able to discover the truth about Kosovo and Serbia, for justice.
The chief of the cabinet of the Kosovar Minister of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the French authorities have been contacted through the Kosovar embassy in Paris.
From Albania, the first response came yesterday from opposition leader Lulzim Basha. In a press release, he states:
The arrest today in France of Ramush Haradinaj is worrying news. The Democratic Party asks the French authorities to clarify the situation as soon as possible, while emphasizing that such bureaucratic and rudimentary procedures are followed with anxiety wherever Albanians live, because they touch upon one of the episodes in our history that we are most proud of: the liberation and independence of Kosovo.
Both Mr. Haradinaj and other leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army have been met with dignity and have been previously judged innocent by international courts.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bushati stated that “unfortunately this act damages the normalization of the Kosovo–Serbia relations.” Minister Bushati asked France “to clarify the situation and release Ramush Haradinaj immediately.”
Prime Minister Edi Rama chose to respond by Facebook.
The arrest of Haradinaj is an absurdity! Unbelievable that the arrest warrants of Serbia still haven’t been erased from the computers of the EU!