Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama denied he put pressure on Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj to rescind the import tariff on Serbia during the recent summit in Berlin.
In a Facebook post, Rama said that it was not customary for people to publicly comment on their conversations, even more so if they were informal, not to mention “distorting” them. “I am sincerely sorry that my friend Ramush has not yet learnt this simple rule,” Rama said adding that this was not the first time Haradinaj has spoken out of place and that, unlike in the past, “I will not go over it in silence.”
“No one has pressured Ramush in Berlin to remove the tax. Definitely not me. In fact, no one even asked him to the remove the tax at all,” Rama said.
He added that the organisers of the summit, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, encouraged an informal discussion at the hallway on the possibility of the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia to resume. “They patiently asked Ramush several times not to lift the tax but to give his consent to temporarily suspend it, for six or even four months, pledging in return that they would enter the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. Both of them personally, the chancellor and the president,” Rama wrote. He said that he suggested Haradinaj he accept the offer because he considers that direct involvement of Germany and France would be a very favourable development towards finalizing the dialogue.
Soon after the Berlin summit was concluded, Haradinaj said there was pressure from Chancellor Merkel, President Macron, Prime Minister Rama and President Thaci for lifting or suspending the tax on Serb products. Today, after the meeting of the government, Haradinaj maintained his version of events. He said he ‘lives to tell’ and added there were witnesses who can corroborate his statement.
“I will tell the truth whether someone likes it or not because it is our duty to be transparent and I will continue to do so in the future,” he said.