From: Bledar Qalliu
Kosovo Prime Minister Accuses President of Secretly Reaching a Deal with Serbian President

Kosovo’s Prime Minister Albin Kurti has stated that Presidents Hashim Thaçi and Aleksandar Vučić are waiting for his government to lift the tariffs against Serbian goods, so that they can sign an already drafted agreement, without further negotiations taking place between Kosovo and Serbia.

“This is not about lifting the tariff and starting the dialogue. That is a lie. It is about lifting the tariff and ending the dialogue with a ready agreement between the two presidents. I am convinced there is a ready agreement,” Kurti said in parliament today.

Kurti’s direct accusation comes after President Thaçi reconfirmed yesterday that it was his mission to include territories in southern Serbia to the Republic of Kosovo.

He added that the growing pressure against his government aimed at having it and him personally back off from requests for dialogue and negotiations with Serbia, and instead have Thaçi and Vučić sign an agreement prepared throughout talks they’ve been having during the last 2.5 years to exchange territories.

Kurti said that the governing coalition won elections with the promise to implement reciprocity in trade, economy and politics with Serbia. He considered his proposal to partially lift tariffs on March 15, and then completely scrap them before April 1 as a moderate approach. The proposal also foresees the imposition of reciprocity if Serbia does not take similar goodwill steps within 90 days after April 1.

“Any extreme position is wrong. Neither lifting the tariff without [imposing] reciprocity, not insisting in the tariff without engaging in reciprocity. I don’t like what is happening now, but what could happen once the tariff is lifted with no reciprocity is incomparably more harmful. It would be a fatal historic mistake,” Kurti argued.

He also clarified his stance vis-à-vis the US and EU: “I am not anti-American. But I must say one thing, the President is anti-European […] I am pro-American and pro-European. I believe in the Trans-Atlantic ties […] I love the US and the EU, we need them both. There would be no NATO without the US; without NATO there is no security in Europe, less so in out Balkans […] As country’s Prime Minister, I don’t agree with President’s approach to speak of Borrell, Lajcak and Brussels worse than of Dačić, Vučić and Belgrade. This is wrong. Borrell, Lajcak and Brussels have not committed genocide in Kosovo.”

Kosovo’s Prime Minister said he was ready to visit the US together with Speaker of Parliament Vjosa Osmani, and discuss how to build a process toward an agreement that would be accepted by the US, EU and the Balkans.