Ramush Haradinaj, Kosovo’s Prime Minister, told KoSSev portal that a solution for the normalisation of relations between Pristina and Belgrade was in Serbia’s recognition of Kosovo’s independence and that without it the import taxes would stay in place and there wouldn’t be any dialogue.
In an interview with the KoSSev portal, based in Mitrovica north, Haradinaj said the Belgrade – Pristina dialogue didn’t go in the right direction and that the resumption require a framework which he saw in mutual recognition and as “the solution for all torments”, without divisions or annexation.
“We exist, Kosovo exists, it is a state and Serbia now must find the courage to accept that a neighbour with a tragic past because of (Slobodan) Milosevic’s regime, offers mutual recognition and free trade. One cannot sell their goods by force. Not Serbia, not anyone else. If we don’t have a political relationship, we won’t have economic either,” Haradinaj told the website.
Haradinaj’s government introduced the 100 percent import duties on goods from Serbia and Bosnia last November and had been refusing to lift them despite public pressure from the US and the European Union and thus unblock the dialogue.
Prime Minister added Kosovo did not expect any favour from Serbia, and that he was aware of the mood among the Serbs in the north.
“Serbia is their first love,” Haradinaj said, adding that “the respect of their home, and, I would say their state of Kosovo, our joint house, will be a solution.”
“We had been buying Serbian goods in Kosovo for 20 years. Aren’t (Serbia’s President Aleksandar) Vucic and Serbia sorry for the way they treat Kosovo where they were selling their products for two decades making over a billion Euros a year?” Haradinaj asked.
He added that “now if we want a solution, it exists – the recognition of Kosovo… Kosovo is ready for some new relations with Serbia, but that comes with the recognition. That has to be an honest gesture. Otherwise, it won’t get better.”
Asked if he were ready to restart the dialogue with Belgrade and how would he do that, Haradinaj reiterated he was available “for mutual recognition with Serbia.”
“That’s a solution; we don’t have to avoid truth… That is a compromise… Kosovo is ready for the recognition and new relations and to overcome what had happened in the past,” Kosovo’s Prime Minister told KoSSev.