Albania is ready to dismantle the border with Kosovo, it said today Prishtina the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania, Gent Cakaj.
These statements came during a meeting with the President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci. The latter had proposed to the Albanian government to jointly remove the border between the two countries.
"It would be a miracle that the year 2020 begins with the decision to remove border controls and customs between the state of Kosovo and Albania, so I invite my friend the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, to make this decision "Thaçi said at a press conference in late December 2019.
Albania's response came through Minister Cakaj, who said that official Tirana also agrees that the borders between the two countries should be dismantled.
"We are ready to start dismantling the border. It should be more a matter of technical passages than political discussions "Cakaj said.
According to him, Albania and Kosovo have cooperation in many areas but need improvement to get the most out of it
Cakaj said that a special commitment in his foreign policy will also be dedicated to the creation of common diplomatic representations between Kosovo and Albania.
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci praised the work of Minister Caka, who is originally from Kosovo, saying that "with his work he has shaped a new spirit of affirmation of the state of Kosovo in the world. It happens now that we are starting a new phase of economic development and the Euro-Atlantic perspective, with a focus on European integration " Thaci said.
During the visit, Minister Cakaj has a meeting scheduled with the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, the President of Parliament, Vjosa Osmani and Foreign Minister Glauk Konjufca.
Kosovo and Albania have signed 77 agreements so far, most of which have not been implemented.
The president of the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce, Berat Rukiqi, complained about this topic and wrote on Facebook that there are still economic barriers between Kosovo and Albania.
"After Serbia, Albania remains the country with the largest non-tariff barriers for Kosovo products. Some Kosovar products are more easily exported to Scandinavia than to Albania. The level of trade between the two countries resembles the exchange between any two medium-sized European companies ", wrote Rukiqi.
Kosovo and Albania have held joint governmental meetings since 2014. Five joint government meetings have so far been held. As for the agreements, it has been stated that their goal is a common strategic governance with a Euro-Atlantic vision.
But beyond this commitment, the clashes between the two governments began with divergent positions on the project called Balkan Mini-Schengen. The leaders of the western Balkan countries, namely Albania, Serbia and northern Macedonia, without Kosovo, signed a joint declaration based on the implementation of the free movement of goods, capital, people and services. All meetings so far have been rejected by Kosovo.