From: Bledar Qalliu
President Thaçi Warns New Kosovo Government of International Isolation

President Hashim Thaçi has warned the Kurti government of diplomatic, political and economic isolation if it doesn’t work closely with the US to finalize the Kosovo-Serbia agreement.

Speaking to public service broadcaster RTK on Saturday, Thaçi said he was told by “world leaders” at the Munich Security Conference that Kosovo should “maintain the partnership with the EU, NATO and in particular with the US.”

Thaçi didn’t specifically elaborate on when, how and by who in Kosovo the country’s partnership with NATO, the EU and US was ever put into question.

However, his statement comes after Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s claim that an agreement signed in the presence of Presidents Thaçi and Vučić, mediated by US President’s envoy Richard Grenell, was signed without his knowledge. Moreover, since his government was formed less than two weeks ago, Kurti has insisted he will replace the 100 percent tariffs on Serbian goods with “reciprocity with Serbia”, whilst Grenell has requested the unconditional drop of tariffs.

“Everyone I talked with in Munich [told me that] it is required we increase our [sense of] responsibility towards the opportunity [offered] for both the political spectrum and the institutions to work closely with the US to finalize the Kosovo-Serbia agreement, which implies mutual recognition. This chance should be seized and not lost,” Thaçi said.

He then warned of total isolation if Kosovo government did not work closely with the US to reach a final agreement with Serbia:

“If we take advantage [of this chance], we will gain decades of economic development. If we do not, we will be left behind, hurt and isolated from the international community, with no economic, political, diplomatic benefits, no new recognitions or membership in international organizations.”

The President then added he will be in Brussels today, to attend an EU-Western Balkans leaders’ meeting, where visa liberalization for Kosovo and regional cooperation would be discussed among other topics.

Thaçi then slammed the newly established Kurti Government for allegedly not coordinating with the US and EU, thus endangering visa liberalization for Kosovo and its membership in international organizations.

“Visa liberalization should happen and under no circumstances should the prospect of membership in INTERPOL or UNESCO be lost. Without coordination with Washington and Brussels, Kosovo is seriously endangering the process of visa liberalization and membership in international organizations,” Thaçi concluded.