'Kosovo and Albania complicated things by boycotting SEECP summit in Sarajevo'

NEWS 08.07.2019 13:52
Source: N1

Kosovo and Albania have only made problems for themselves by not coming to the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) Summit in Sarajevo and have struck a heavy blow to regional cooperation, Bosnia's Foreign Minister Igor Crnadak said on Monday, adding that he has o idea what prompted Pristina not to come to the Summit.

“I still hope we'll get things back to where they were before and that Kosovo will abolish tariffs to Bosnia's products and that they'll return to the talks. We didn't provoke this. Pristina indented to take part in the ministerial meeting, but I don't know what happened in the meantime. What happened in the night between Saturday and Sunday and what made Behgjet Pacolli's delegation change its mind – that I don't know,” Crnadak said, pointing out that Bosnia even issued visas at their request, but that they then received a cancellation of arrivals.

During its one-year presidency over the SEECP, Bosnia organised many events aimed ag further incentivising South-East European cooperation as well as the regions further integration into the EU.

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Crnadak, who presided over the meeting of SEECP foreign Ministers at Mount Jahorina, near Sarajevo, which preceded the SEECP Summit spoke of the member states’ EU accession and better interconnection of the countries of the region.

“Regional interconnection was significantly damaged by Pristina's boycott of the Summit and Tirana's support for Kosovo's decision. That was completely wrong and everyone who commented on it said it was wrong and that they should have come,” Crnadak said after the meeting which was organised in the framework of Bosnia's Presidency over the SEECP.

He recalled that despite being subject to Kosovo's tariffs from November last year, Bosnia was ready to be a good host to their delegation.

In November 2018, Pristina authorities introduced protective measures on all products coming from Serbia and Bosnia. Tariffs were raised from 10 to 100percent in less than a month after their introduction.

Source : N1

Serbia's Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic also commented on Pristina and Tirana's move, saying their message was quite clear.

“The conditions at the Summit are that the name of each delegation's capital city is placed in front of them. Belgrade, Sofia, Pristina – no flags, no names of states. The Summit is neutral about that. Kosovo is marked in line with the agreement – with an asterisk and a footnote. Serbia agreed that Kosovo should take part in this and they were grateful to Serbia. Now the conditions under which they would take part in this are no longer acceptable to them,” Dacic said.

He also reacted to the Agreement between Tirana and Pristina n the unification and coordination of their foreign policies which includes having joint embassies. The Agreement was signed Tuesday by Albanian and Kosovo Foreign Ministers Gent Cakaj and Behgjet Pacolli.

“Pacolli said the Agreement represents Kosovo and Albania as one nation. What else does one need to realise that this the creation of Greater Albania? Imagine if Serbia was to sign such an Agreement with (Bosnia's Serb-dominated) Republika Srpska entity? Would that be a violation of Bosnia's territorial integrity,” Dacic asked, adding that everyone would probably condemn such a move.

Serbia's Foreign Minister concluded that Kosovo is thus pressuring Bosnia into recognising its independence.

The meeting participants adopted the draft text of the Declaration of the SEECP which will then be adopted by the Summit participants.