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This "mort" fell and we did not see each other!

2023-07-07 22:05:00, Editorial Lutfi Dervishi

This "mort" fell and we did not see each other!

The brothers have frozen

The Prime Minister of Albania has dinner with the President of Serbia, but he does not meet, despite all the prayers and appeals in the canon, the Prime Minister of Kosovo. What seemed unthinkable became inevitable. The cause is Edi Rama's attitude to the crisis in the North of Kosovo, but the roots of the crisis are deeper.

The lack of a handshake between the two leaders is the tip of the iceberg of the problems and misunderstandings created during these 3 decades in the relations between the two countries that have everything in common.

The crisis is not explained only by the best relations that the Prime Minister of Albania has with the President of Serbia.

The current crisis goes beyond the conflict in the North of Kosovo, beyond the good relations that Tirana has with Belgrade and beyond the clash of the strong personalities of Kurti and Rama. A photo is not enough to cover the bed of problems and the crisis is not solved either with references to the Lekë Dukagjini Canon or by being locked up at home like Oso Kuka.

It's time for a more open and honest conversation!

The communication crisis

The use of twitter, megaphone diplomacy and online trolls prove not only the crisis in communication, but also a lack of desire to overcome the long-standing situation.

The rhetoric of "traitor" vs "patriot", "friend" vs "enemy" and even the idiocy expressed in public appeals "don't go to the beaches of Albania" are indicators of how far things have gone between the "brothers". The brothers have frozen.

The crisis is also a communication problem. And in the conditions when the two governments are led by two strong leaders (each one faces a weaker opposition than the other), the personalization of the state makes both the sun and the clouds depend on the mood of the two personalities.

Today's crisis is in the context of the biggest crisis that Kosovo is going through since the liberation of the country.

In Pristina, they are surprised several times with the official attitude of Tirana.

The idea of ??the Open Balkans was announced by Prime Minister Rama in October 2019 after no consultation with the leadership of Kosovo. In Pristina, it is not easy to understand even indirect support/inclusion in the territory exchange project, much less the usefulness of the Open Balkans. 

The Open Balkans is a closed chapter today, but it has been four years of no understanding in Pristina why Albania is next to Serbia and against Kosovo!

 The cancellation of the joint meeting of the two governments under the pretext of "negotiation format" was another unpleasant surprise. And at the height of the crisis in Northern Kosovo, the Prime Minister of Albania behaved more in the role of an unsolicited regional/international negotiator. It is possible that privately he played the role of Kosovo's lawyer, but publicly he appeared as a prosecutor or as the most vocal voice in the warnings that "if you don't do this, I will expect this from you". The presentation of the association project was made without informing the Prime Minister of Kosovo and the public proposal for an international conference was made without any consultation and clarification of what it aims at and what the modalities of this action will be.

Big brother and little brother

Ibrahim Rugova, before Kosovo was declared a Republic, saw the future of Albania and Kosovo as "two brothers" who each have their own home.

But Kosovo should not be treated and feel like the little brother against the big brother. The big brother is not the guardian of the little one and the little one doesn't have to have expectations of what the brother is doing for me. The time of the "mother state" belongs to history.

They are two brothers who each have their own roof and should take care to support each other through thick and thin and not dictate or create unrealistic expectations. The construction of the roof means that both Albania and Kosovo are functional, predictable states under the strong rule of law and institutions. In a word, the challenge in both Tirana and Pristina is: the state!

The time when Tirana was seen and appreciated in decision-making centers in the West as an important influencer on Albanian factors in the region and especially in Kosovo has come to an end. It is no longer 1991 (the opening of Albania) nor 1999 (the Kosovo war) nor 2008 (the declaration of Kosovo's independence)

It is not the time for the "big brother to give the orders of others to the "little brother", but it is the time of coordination, cooperation and mutual support to be, if not a unified voice, at least a coordinated one.

The interests of the day, as fodder for the crisis

If you ask today in Prishtina or Tirana what the future of the two countries is in 10, 20 or 50 years, it is not easy to get an answer.

Historically, it has been the political interests of the day that have dominated/damaged relations between Kosovo and Albania.

Narrow daily interests for internal consumption have fueled discontent, increased misunderstandings and poisoned the environment and virtual reality.

It was the interests of the day (party) that once pushed Rama to call the biggest project that connects the two countries, the National Road, "the road that leads nowhere" or to calculate how many schools would have been built if the road was not made. Looking only at the interests of its own "fence", Albania has imposed the only tax on the road, that of the Nation's road, and despite the fact that all the prime ministers of Kosovo have requested either the removal or a joint contribution from the respective budgets so as not to burden the citizens, the calls theirs have fallen on deaf ears in Tirana!

It was the party interests that led Kurti's establishment to enter the electoral race in Tirana, creating the paradoxical situation that the Prime Minister of Kosovo is in opposition in Albania! Attempts to influence the political game of the respective countries has accumulated enough throw!

The stories of personal relations between the leaders here and there on the border have mostly produced negative news (Rama has conflicted with almost all the prime ministers of Kosovo, and he has declared all of them personal friends).

Both countries have EU membership as their objective and now both countries (finally) also want the Berlin process. Basically, the common European and regional market are the four freedoms; freedom of movement of people, capital, goods and services.

Although the two countries have signed nearly 200 agreements, still, after 15 years since Kosovo declared independence, it has not been possible to have with each other the four freedoms that we aim to achieve in the region and in the EU.

During these decades of freedom and communication with each other, we have not been able to "Europeanize", starting from the impossibility of free circulation of books to the missing strategic investments.

If we didn't have the Adriatic and the Ionian, would we have seen each other so much?

17:15 Editorial Ardi Stefa

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