Kosovo does not attend the Ohrid Meeting

 A meeting of Western Balkan leaders is being held in Ohrid on Sunday, a follow-up to the October 10 meeting held in Novi Sad for the creation of a Balkan "Schengen" between Albania, Serbia and North Macedonia.

Kosovo, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina were also invited to Sunday's meeting.

But Kosovo's president, Hashim Thaci, said Saturday that he has refused participation for several reasons: "first, Kosovo was deliberately bypassed by Serbia at the First Summit of this new regional initiative. Second, Kosovo's only vision remains EU and NATO membership. Therefore, we do not want in any circumstances to replace our Euro-Atlantic perspective with any regional initiative. And thirdly, this regional initiative is meaningless as long as Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina do not recognize Kosovo's independence. "

He wrote on facebook that Kosovo is committed to good neighborliness and removing obstacles to the freedom of people and goods.

“But Kosovo cannot be part of such a summit in which states that do not yet recognize the reality of independent Kosovo. We are committed to overcoming current obstacles through dialogue and mutual recognition. Only when such a thing happens will we become part of such regional initiatives as equal states," he wrote.

Leaders of the three Balkan countries, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Serbian President Alexander Vucic and North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev agreed on October 10 that by 2021 "we will eliminate border controls and other obstacles of the free movement within the region".

They agreed to invite other countries to the next meetings and that existing differences on other issues, such as the case between Serbia and Kosovo, should not become an obstacle to moving forward with this project.
Kosovo does not attend the Ohrid Meeting Kosovo does not attend the Ohrid Meeting Sunday, November 10, 2019 Rating: 5
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