Clash of Thaçi and Kurti over tariffs continues

Flag of Kosovo; Photo: Kosovo MFA

PRISTINA – President of Kosovo Hahsim Thaçi attacked the Prime Minister Albin Kurti for being “anti-American” on Thursday after Kurti stated that a secret deal exists between Presidents of Kosovo and Serbia to topple his government and then implement an already existing agreement.

“It’s not about abolishing the tariffs to start a dialogue, this is a lie. It is about abolishing them to end dialogue with an agreement that is ready. I am convinced that there is a ready agreement between the two Presidents, and what is required is the overthrow of the Government of Kosovo”, Kurti said in a session of parliament called by the opposition Democratic Party of Kosovo over Prime Minister’s decision not to abolish all tariffs right away, as advised by the United States.

Reacting to the statement, President Thaçi wrote today on Facebook that Kurti is “a liar, a coward, an anti-American and a fool”.

He wrote that Prime Minister’s claims on secret agreements are offensive and harmful for Kosovo’s relations with the United States.

He accused Kurti of being against every American administration since the 1999 Kosovo war.

Earlier this week, Kurti refused to meet with Thaçi in the context of President’s consultations with party leaders following the meeting between President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić and President of Kosovo in the White House.

United States Special Envoy for Belgrade-Pristina Richard Grenell denied that the exchange of territories was discussed as a possible solution.

Grenell has been supportive of a full abolition of 100% tariffs introduced by the government of Kosovo in November 2018, while the current government announced it would lift them partially by 15 March, demanding that Serbia respects the reciprocity principle and stops with the campaign of de-recognition of Kosovo around the world.

Kosovo Assembly failed to adopt a resolution on the dialogue proposed by the ruling coalition today, due to the lack of quorum.

Borrell writes to Kurti: Complete abolition of tariffs needed

High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell wrote in a letter to Kurti that the resumption of the dialogue is necessary and that the complete abolition of tariffs is needed, Tanjug reported.

In a letter to Kurti, Borrell says he expects Belgrade to contribute to the rebuilding of the process as well.

He recalled that he had earlier supported Kurti’s intention to gradually abolish taxis as a good first step, but now points out that a complete abolition of tariffs is needed.

“Serbia, like Kosovo, has to fulfill its obligations in implementing the agreements,” the High Representative wrote.