Following Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama’s visit to Kosovo, Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti has returned the visit, meeting Rama on July 3 in Tirana.
In the press conference that followed, Rama announced that the Albanian and Kosovo governments would hold a joint meeting in Shkodra in September. Both countries will also work towards sponsoring a congress of Kosovo and Albania mayors in November wherein they will be able to share challenges and best practice.
Rama also took the opportunity to scold the EU for “holding [Kosovo’s people] hostage” by not liberalizing Schengen visas for Kosovo’s citizens. Several months ago, EP Rapporteur Viola von Cramon stated that Kosovo has met the criteria laid out for visa liberalization and the issue is now in the hands of the European Parliament. Rama claimed that the EU’s failure to grant Kosovo what it promised comes as a result of “internal EU politics.”
During the meeting, the two Prime Ministers discussed three prospective joint projects between Albania and Kosovo:
- The creation of a Kosovo customs point in the Durrës port, wherein cargo will be considered to have legally entered Kosovo once it enters the Durrës. This will avoid cargo destined for Kosovo going through two different customs, once in Durrës when entering Albania, and once in Morina, when it enters Kosovo.
- The construction of a hydropower plant in Albania that will provide electrical power to Kosovo.
- A railway connection between the two capitals, Tirana and Prishtina. This project has been in the talks for some time, but Rama and Hoti hope to begin locating funds for the project in September.