European Western Balkans

Haradinaj and Veseli take different stances on tariffs, put Government’s stability into question

Kosovo Assembly; Photo: Kosovo Assembly

PRISTINA – Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj, in his yesterday’s letter to Quint countries (United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy) and the EU, conditioned the withdrawal of tariffs imposed on goods from Serbia and BiH with an US and EU-backed international conference that would result in mutual recognition of two countries.

On the other hand, Chairman of the Kosovo Assembly and leader of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, a coalition partner of Haradinaj’s Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, Kadri Veseli, stated that the tariffs should be revoked for 120 days, and reimposed only if Serbia’s and Bosnia’s conduct remains the same.

This is the first that the two officials have taken a different stance on the issue of tariffs, which were imposed in November last year. President of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi already supported the suspension of tariffs, after the US State Department called on the Kosovo authorities to do so.

Haradinaj commented on a possiblity of early elections for Syri.net. “The elections are healthy and my ally can decide to leave the Government. I am not afraid of elections and they can happen very soon”, he said.

According to Haradinaj’s proposal, the international conference would last no longer than 14 days. Any kind of border correction, executive authorities for the Association of Serbian Community and measures based on concessions made before 17 February 2008 (date of Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence) would be off the table.

Furthermore, demands of the Prime Minister of Kosovo also include visa liberalisation for his country, implementation of the agreements on energy and removal of non-tariff barriers for goods, services and people of Kosovo by Serbia and Bosnia.

In contrast, Veseli’s proposal includes harsher measures, aimed at securing “full reciprocity” with Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, only if these countries do not “fundamentally change their conduct towards Kosovo” in 120 days.

Haradinaj also sent a letter to Prime Ministers of every country in the world earlier today, stressing that the status of Kosovo was resolved by the 2008 Declaration of Independence.

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