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Albanian PM Open for Kosovo ­- Albania Unification, Says He Merely Facilitated Tirana Platform

Region | April 18, 2017, Tuesday @ 17:25| 269 views

Photo: Vlatko Perkovski

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama issued a warning that he can't count out the possibility of unification between Kosovo and Albania, if European Union integration in the region is stalled. In an interview with Politico, Rama also dismissed accusations that he interfered in Macedonian politics by uniting the parties that represent ethnic Albanians behind the controversial Tirana platform.

"Asked if he would take a union with Kosovo off the table, Rama said: 'No, because the only way to keep the Balkans in this peaceful and cooperative mode … is to keep the path to the EU open, to keep the perspective clear, to keep emotions about the EU positive. No one would like to turn in on themselves and look for smaller unions, everyone would like to unite in the big union. But if there’s no hope, no perspective, no space, then, of course, little unions may happen'. Many fear a union between Kosovo and Albania would trigger a new upheaval in the Balkans, which descended into war in the 1990s as Yugoslavia was torn apart. Bosnia and Macedonia would be especially vulnerable if borders were thought to be up for grabs once again. Rama said a union with Kosovo was not 'my wish but a possible alternative to the closed door of the European Union'", Politico writes in its interview with Rama.

Regarding the Tirana platform, Rama says that he "merely facilitated" the meetings between three parties that represent ethnic Albanians in the aftermath of the inconclusive elections on December 11. The document that was produced from these meetings calls for changing of Macedonian national emblems and a wholesale redefinition of inter-ethnic relations, and President Gjorge Ivanov refused to give a mandate to social-democratic leader Zoran Zaev to form a Government, unless he rejects the Tirana platform. Rama says that he supports the positions of the Albanian parties expressed in the platform, even as he denies that it was written in Tirana.

"The attack on the platform is very dangerous because it’s a kind of politics that fuels divisiveness and not unity … The last thing Macedonia needs, the last thing we all need, is to fuel interethnic conflict, because you can’t control these kinds of things. Albanians in Macedonia have an absolute right to ask for full equality with their Macedonian brothers", Rama told Politico.

Tags: Edi Rama, Albania, Kosovo, Tirana platform


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