On Friday 25 October the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, and the leader of the Vetëvendosje movement, and Kosovo's prime ministerial candidate, Albin Kurti held a long meeting in Tirana in which they addressed numerous issues concerning the two countries and beyond.
Kurti was in Tirana to celebrate his party's victory in 6 October's early parliamentary elections in Kosovo in an event organized by the Albanian branch (Tirana) of the 'Vetëvendosje' movement.
The main issue addressed by Rama and Kurti was that of collaboration between the two countries and how it could be improved in the future:
"We are different people and politicians. We want to work together to ensure that existing differences or disagreements do not endanger our cooperation. There were many issues that needed to be discussed especially now that the Vetëvendosje movement, as the winner of the elections, wishes and must work closely with the Albanian government and its prime minister.
We discussed common issues. We want foreign policy and the economy to be coordinated as synergy is not being exploited enough. There will be joint summits between the two countries to which the implementation of the agreements will be added, which is the most important part. "- declared Kurti.
Strengthening relations between Albania and Kosovo will therefore be one of the priorities of the new Kurti government, as confirmed also by Albulena Haxhiu - members of the Vetëvendosje presidency - in an interview for KosovaPress.
Furthermore, Haxhiu also expressed himself on the proposal of Prime Minister Rama - that is, to appoint two ministers specifically for relations between the two countries - stating that the Vetëvendosje movement welcomed the proposal, although it had not yet officially accepted it.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said he had pleasantly listened to the ideas of Albin Kurti and proposed that both the Albanian and Kosovar governments appoint two ministers for bilateral relations Kosovo-Albania.
The proposal, however, for the former president of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, Safet Gerxhalliu, is nothing but a populist declaration made for political marketing and the continuation of many other "spectacular" proposals arrived from Rama.
In his opinion, there can be no increase in the level of cooperation between Albania and Kosovo with these declarations but only by concretely implementing the agreements between the two countries. For this reason, Gerxhalliu urged Prime Minister Rama to be more serious in implementing Albania's obligations arising from the association-stabilization agreement between the two countries.
Rama and Kurti also discussed the agreement "mini-Schengen"Signed by the leaders of Albania, Serbia and Northern Macedonia, which - based on the original EU model - provides for the free movement of people, goods, capital and services in these countries.
The leader of Vetëvendosje did not rule out a possible participation of Kosovo in the agreement but he also asked for time so that he could analyze it in detail:
"I want a document that describes the points of the agreement, because it seems to me more an idea than a real project. - stated Kurti.
The toll of the Rruga and Kombit
The removal of the toll of the Rruga and Kombit was another of the issues addressed by the leaders of the two countries. In an interview for Ora News, Kurti labeled the toll as "very heavy" and will work hard to find an alternative solution:
"We have addressed the issue of economic cooperation, market liberalization and the removal of trade barriers, and I have expressed our position that, besides having an unjust administrative border, we also have a further obstacle represented by the toll to be paid.
The rate is very heavy for the Albanian citizen, so I am working towards an alternative solution. It was a topic we talked about but we have not yet closed."- specifies Kurti.