Kosovo’s new “territorial exchange”… with Albania

By Mero Baze

Kosovo’s electoral campaign is avoiding the main debate, that of an agreement with Serbia, which would launch the country’s EU and UN negotiations process. The same happened during the October 2019 elections when the three candidates for the office of the Prime Minister refused to speak regarding a possible agreement with Serbia. Ironically the elections followed a campaign of attacks and criticism regarding this issue.

During the 2019 elections it was fashionable to accuse former President Hashim Thaci that he was negotiating a territorial exchange with the Serbian authorities, in order for both countries to reach a reciprocal recognition. Various international factors feared a possible territorial exchange and the chain reaction that it could spark. However, at the time Albin Kurti rushed to meet with Sali Berisha and Ilir Meta in order to talk against the “territorial exchange,” while promoting Kosovo’s union with Albania. In other words, he spoke against territorial changes, while promoting them on the other hand.

A union between Kosovo and Albania would possible either through peaceful agreements or war since it would mean a change of borders between Kosovo and Serbia. Further claims are nothing more than hypocrisy, which seems to be Kurti’s main talent. However, Ramush Haradinaj has begun to make similar statements with those of Albin Kurti in 2019.

We are aware that such claims are nonsensical byproducts of the electoral campaign, but we need to be serious about it. Prior to any requests for union with Albania, one should seek an agreement between Kosovo and Serbia as it is being requested by the international factor. This ought to be the main topic the electoral campaign in Kosovo. Once the issue of Serbia has been resolved, we could work on improving the matters between Kosovo and Albania.

Furthermore, the agreement with Serbia has overthrown various governments in Kosovo and it is rather immoral that the issue is never mentioned during electoral campaigns. Kosovo politicians should at least be brave enough to speak clearly about their stance regarding the agreement with Serbia prior to claiming a union with Albania. Not only does the latter not help, but it favours Serbia in international negotiations, raising fears that the next “Milosevic” of the Balkans will be of Albanian nationality.

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