Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

thumbnail Kosova 5 1 1 1


Questions posed to President Begaj and his responses during the press conference with the President of the Republic of Kosova

Question no. 1: Owing partially to Serbia’s aggressiveness and the current dispute between the Government of Kosova and its national supporters, the process of recognising Kosova has slowed considerably. My question is, how exactly is Albania promoting increased recognition internationally?

President Begaj: As I previously stated, Kosova is our national priority. Of course, I have always voiced and sought recognition of the Republic of Kosova in all of my meetings as President of the country with my counterparts, with any regional or international institution, or in NATO. I have consistently emphasised the Republic of Kosova’s need for support, and this call is not only a necessity for Kosova but also for the entire region because the Albanian factor in the whole Western Balkans region is crucial to achieving peace, security and stability, essential to sustainable development and the spirit and our common Euro-Atlantic journey. Indeed, it is our responsibility to stand with Kosova and seek new recognition of its sovereignty.

We have succeeded in doing this admirably even during the two years that we have been a non-permanent member of the Security Council and a member of the United Nations, where Albania has advocated for new recognition and support for the Republic of Kosova.

Even during my visit to the United Nations General Assembly in September, I will request bilateral meetings to promote new recognition of Kosova.

Thank you!

Question no. 2: In an interview, Prime Minister Rama stated that the President ought to authorise the establishment of a new negotiating group to address the issue of maritime borders with Greece. What discussions have you had with Mr Rama regarding this matter, and when will you authorise the establishment of this negotiating group?

President Begaj: Thank you for the question. Even though it does not relate much to President Osmani’s visit, Albania’s issue is nonetheless Kosova’s.

I would like to briefly clarify that the President of the Republic is legally required to issue authorisation for any negotiations or international agreements. Certain preliminary, legal, and constitutional criteria must be met in the case of the authorisation in question. These criteria must be defined in compliance with the Constitutional Court’s decision number 15, issued in 2010.

As I stated in my previous response, we are examining this relationship to ensure that the authorisation that will be issued complies with the Albanian Constitution, the decision of the Constitutional Court, Albanian laws, and international laws.

Indeed, this authorisation will be disclosed to the public once it is signed.

Thank you!

Question no. 3: My question is addressed to the President of Albania, Bajram Begaj, and it regards the potential capacity that your country may employ to assist Kosova in joining international organisations, even though you stated it previously. In your speech, you also said that Kosova ought to enhance its relations with the global factor. We would like to know whether you recommend reestablishing those good relations between Kosova and international factors.

President Begaj: Thank you for the question. I mentioned that previously.

In every international meeting, I have expressed my belief that supporting Kosova is my constitutional obligation as an Albanian and the President of Albania.  The Constitution states in the preamble that we will support the issue of Albanians wherever they live and work.

We also discussed with President Osmani about this. Unquestionably, Kosova’s membership in international organisations is not just a matter of a position, a chair, or a political function that an official of Kosova will hold; instead, it is a matter related to the direct interests of the citizens of the Republic of Kosova, rights that are universal and rights that we protect in the United Nations.  For example, Kosova’s membership in the World Health Organization does not imply that an official from the Ministry of Health or a health official in this ministry will hold a post there and only that. Instead, it is to the direct benefit of the citizens of the Republic of Kosova for sustainable development policies in health, which are related to vaccination and the treatment of other diseases, so Kosova’s membership in international organisations is required.

It is crucial to Kosova’s citizens. Of course, very effective institutional coordination and coordination are required, not just among us as brothers and sisters of a nation, but also with the international factor.

We must not overlook the contributions made by the international community to Kosova and ensure they are heard. We must collaborate with them to begin the application process. If we coordinate as two nations and with international factor support, Kosova will undoubtedly start gaining recognition and new memberships in international organisations.

Thank you!

Question no. 4: If we refer to the two governments’ relationship, Rama’s insistence on the Open Balkans has caused damage to it for a very long time. Do you think the disagreements between the two Prime Ministers make it difficult for you, as President, and in this case even for Mrs. Osmani, to pursue policy unification?

President Begaj: As I indicated a little while ago in the press release, no one should feel annoyed because we support Kosova. It is an obligation, a national obligation, and every citizen, every Albanian, has a national obligation to support Kosova.

Momentary differences of opinion are irrelevant. Today’s visit by President Osmani to Albania demonstrates our common stance on significant international problems and our commitment to promoting our nation’s European and Euro-Atlantic spirit.

Our journey is safe, one-way, and distinct from the Serbian journey. We shall continue our journey together towards the West; we should no longer think that we are in the East.

There is, therefore, no cause for concern. There is potential for improvement in inter-institutional cooperation so that we are united and Kosova’s voice is heard in every forum and organisation. I am confident that Prime Ministers, Ministers, Presidents, and all Albanians will do so regardless of where they live or work.

Question no. 5: It is mentioned how crucial collaboration with national partners is. I would like to hear your thoughts on the approach used by the European Union towards Kosova. The Government of Kosova has committed to de-escalating the situation in the north. The police force in the north has been significantly reduced. Additionally, there is a promise of new elections, which are currently being worked on with legal procedures, so that elections can be held in the northern municipalities. What do you think about all this, though? Do you believe the European Union exerts more significant pressure on the Kosova government than on Serbia, especially given that Kosova’s already unquestionable sovereignty and territorial integrity were also mentioned?

President Begaj: Thank you for the question. In fact, I am not aware of anyone ever questioning the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Kosova.

There certainly are a few requests from the international community for the situation in Kosova’s north to be de-escalated. President Osmani noted that the situation has been quite upsetting.

We have also been following them with considerable interest.  When a situation gets tense, we should avoid giving in to provocations and instead seek ways to de-tension it.

We each have our priorities as a country and as two states. The non-negotiable priority for me is that we should work within the parameters of the publicly announced agreement in Brussels and the Ohrid annexes, which naturally leads to the normalisation of relations between the two states, Kosova and Serbia, and then to mutual recognition and respect for priorities outlined in the Kosova Constitution.

In my opinion, there was no finer comment than that provided by Alicia Kern from the United Kingdom, who expressed very eloquently that we must uphold the equality principle in the present conflict in the northern part of Kosova rather than blame Kosova as if it were the problem. Perception is the problem in question.

The international community believes it is our fault, Kosova’s. This view must change, and we must change it because we know who causes the problems and who provokes them.  We must handle these difficult situations, make wise decisions and find ways to get out of the situation, keeping in mind that our most significant interest is Kosova’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, which no one questions. And, of course, this is where international support comes in. We can not state we do not like them anymore as it is because of international support, whose support made this reality possible.

Thank you!