Kosovo, Albania PMs to cooperate towards EU integration

Coat of arms of Albania and Coat of arms of Kosovo | wikimedia

Kosovan Prime Minister and his Albanian counterpart met in Tirana to discuss ways to reinforce their cooperation and work together towards EU integration.

Kosovo's new Prime Minister, Ramush Haradinaj, made his first official foreign visit since he took the office on Wednesday to Tirana.

Haradinaj met his Albanian host, Edi Rama. The latter stated after the meeting that the governments of the two mainly ethnic Albanian states in the Balkans proposed to focus on making up for lost time in terms of deepening cooperation, the source said.

According to the Balkan Insight, the Albanian Prime Minister said measures would start with “facilitating the administrative procedures for citizens living on both sides of the border", noting that they aimed at "free movement" on the border.

"Citizens face an absurd wall that we want to get rid of, in order to start next year with a border similar to the borders between the EU countries," Rama stated, explaining, however, that some border controls would still have to exist.

Haradinaj said Kosovo was not alone on its journey towards integration with Europe, and considered Albania as its closest ally.

"We are determined to make our journey towards the European Union together with Albania," the Kosovo Prime Minister said, after meeting his Albanian counterpart.

In 2015, Albania and Kosovo started to introduce one-side-only controls on their border but were forced to return to double controls on the insistence of the European Commission.

A meeting between the two governments is scheduled for 27 and 28 November because of the historical importance of the date for all Albanians, marking the anniversary of the date when Albania declared independence from the collapsing Ottoman Empire in 1912.

On a related note, the two countries will jointly celebrate a “Skanderbeg year”, an initiative designed to pay homage to the late-medieval Albanian national hero.