On Wednesday, Albania’s prime minister Edi Rama sued Kosovo’s outgoing counterpart Ramush Haradinaj for defamation in a Prishtina court, according to local media.
Rama reportedly claims in his 30-page long suit that Haradinaj has repeatedly lied in public about his involvement in an alleged plan to exchange territories between Kosovo and Serbia. Moreover, Haradinaj’s statements have created in the public opinion the belief that Rama worked against Kosovo’s interest.
The suit brings several statements by Kosovo’s prime minister where he mentions his Albanian counterpart. In it, Rama denies that the idea for territorial exchange originated from him. He adds that the final decision for any agreement between Kosovo and Serbia would have had to pass through Kosovo’s parliament and that he himself had no decision-making power whatsoever. Rama states that he only supported the Kosovo state throughout discussions about a final agreement.
In his reaction to the news today, Haradinaj wrote on Facebook that the suit was “completely unfounded” and a political maneuver by Rama to avoid responsibility.
The Albanian prime minister had warned about the suit in October 2018, when he called Haradinaj “a liar” who “lies in the most unscrupulous way” and vowed to sue him. Back then, Rama claimed that Haradinaj had accused him of being part of a plan to share €10 billion with Serbia and Kosovo’s presidents after a successful land swap between the two countries.
However, in this particular case Haradinaj had actually stated that by giving away the Trepça mine to Serbia, as per an alleged plan for an exchange of territories, Kosovo would lose €10 billion in profits. He added that such plan was agreed by presidents of Serbia and Kosovo and supported by Rama.
Rama’s lawsuit against Haradinaj was reportedly filed on the day of the 21st anniversary of the Reçak massacre, commemorated throughout Kosovo and Albania. On January 15, 1999, Serbian forces killed 45 Albanians in Reçak, a small village in Kosovo. The mass killing prompted the NATO bombings of Serbia against the murderous Milošević regime.