2019, a year of a historic decision

Written by:  Hashim Thaçi

Major historic turning points, which have decided the fate of states and nations all around the world, have often been a result of a single decision. The very same has happened to us as well. The history of our nation has been determined by bright moments, when we took right decision, wise ones too, taken at the right moment, which were supported by the powerful states. We would not be honest with ourselves if we would think that there were not moments when we wasted historic opportunities due to lack of decision making or due to taking wrong decisions.

One such determinating moment of ours, which needs to happen in the near future, is related to the final agreement for the full normalisation of relations with Serbia. I think that there is no better moment than now for the achievement of a viable and final peace. Political circumstances in Kosovo and Serbia allow for such an agreement. And, in favour of total utilisation of this historic opportunity are both the US and the EU. We have no time to waste, but need to, in wisdom and unity, decide to foreclose the centuries long conflict with Serbia and to open the one of peace. History, time and the future generations shall judge us on the right actions or on the wasted opportunity. I would like to be remembered for the former.

A letter, a meaning

The letter of the President of the USA, Donald Trump, expectedly, created a fair bit of a furore in Kosovo. It could not have been more direct and less prone to misinterpretation. Americans are not know for an ambiguous approach, and less so is the actual US President. He is very direct and his message addressed to Kosovo cannot be clearer. But we must never under estimate our tendencies to interpret things as they fit our personal, group or party agendas. We live in a world where everyone is free to understand and misunderstand things as one sees fit, and to package them for the public without any responsibility. But, there is one and only one truth.

President Trump’s letter has only one, a very clear, meaning. And it is extremely important that our public opinion does not digress the messages sent by the most powerful country of the world, our country’s main ally.

The content of the letter by the President of the USA, Donald Trump, has two crucial aims. Initially, it was a call and and encouragement for all leaders of Kosovo to utilise the created momentum and achieve a comprehensive peace agreement with Serbia.
Also, aware of the existing polarisations, which are dangerous, President Trump calls upon us to be united and to speak in unison about the agreement?

The second crucial meaning , related to the seriousness of the situation and the harnessing of the unique opportunity to achieve agreement, President Trump made it clear that our eventual failure to achieve the agreement may have tragic consequences, not only for Kosovo but also beyond. For this reason, he also warns us to be careful and to refrain from decision which could make the achievement of a peaceful agreement more difficult.

The decision is ours
We are blessed to have powerful allies in the world. Above all, to have the US support. This year we marked the tenth anniversary of our state. All expected us, as leaders, and our state institutions, to behave differently. To show that we possess the sufficient political maturity to steer Kosovo on the right course, one of Euro-Atlantic integrations. They expected that we would not be as divided on issues which directly relate to our state interests. But, we have disappointed our international friends. And this is why they are forced to, even ten years after the creation of our state, still provide their best counsel.  It would be best for us if we would find the wisdom and the courage to, for once, take a courageous and smart decision, at the right time. Furthermore, this time as well we have the support of our allies for this decision, and it is our obligation to respect them. Hence, there is no room for fear and conjecture. Let us be reminded of the last of our failures. Despite of the advice and insistence of our international partners for the ratification of the demarcation with Montenegro in 2016, as the sole condition for the visa liberalisation, we failed to do it. Even worse, Kosovo suddenly became the stage for violent protests. Thus, with great easiness and thanks to fake political causes, we lost the moment and made it impossible for EU to take a decision for visa abrogation. At the end, we took two years of monotonous and futile debates on the issue, only to ratify the very same agreement at the Parliament of Kosovo. What did Kosovo gain from all this? Nothing, except the continuation of isolation.

For this reason, I hope that leaders of the country, in 2019, will be ready to, without hesitation reach difficult decisions, most needed for our state interests and for the peace in Balkans and beyond. From my side, I would like to assure the citizens that I shall not hesitate for a single moment to take decisions in the interest of our state and in conformity with the friendly counsel of our allies, respectively, that of the USA.