President Osmani at the SEECP Summit: Kosovo's access to the institutions and mechanisms of the Council of Europe is in the interest of citizens without distinction

The President of the Republic of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani spoke at the Summit of the Heads of States of Southeast Europe about the role of the Republic of Kosovo in maintaining the peace and stability in the region, the importance of cooperation based on the principle of equality and inclusion and the need to accelerate the Euro-Atlantic perspective of Kosovo and other democratic countries in the region.

In her address at the Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP) Summit, President Osmani underlined Kosovo's progress in implementing reforms that have strengthened the quality of democracy and the rule of law.

The President then focused on Russia's illegal aggression and the unprovoked war on Ukraine and stressed that the right of nations to exist and to be sovereign is under threat.

“In face of Putin's aggression on Ukraine, we must be very careful not to open the door to any malicious influence in our region,” said President Osmani, noting that the countries of the region must have a unique stance in stopping the tendencies of Russia for destabilizing the region and in approving sanctions against Russia.

President Osmani reiterated before the heads of the participating states the necessity of Kosovo's membership in the Council of Europe.

“Access to the institutions and mechanisms of the Council of Europe, such as the European Court of Human Rights, is above all in the interest of the citizens of Kosovo, of all ethnic, religious or other backgrounds. “To say no to Kosovo's membership in the Council of Europe is to say no to human rights for our citizens,” said President Osmani. In this context, she mentioned the unjust exclusion of Kosovo from the visa liberalization process.

“Some of our brightest minds, from students to doctoral students, researchers or investigative journalists, miss their orientation day, graduation day, doctoral defense or an event of professional importance due to lack of visa,  “due to the lack of capacity of embassies or due to the lack of opportunity to book a visa application prior to the deadline,” said President Osmani, calling this an injustice to the people of Kosovo and calling on the European Union to urgently liberalize visas for our citizens.

At the joint dinner with Chancellor Scholz, President Osmani thanked the Chancellor for Germany's great support as well as for the clear positions of his government for the Euro-Atlantic future of our country. On the other hand, Chancellor Scholz stressed the importance of accelerating the process of membership of the countries of the region in the European Union and strengthening the Berlin Process.

During the Summit of Southeast European Countries, President Osmani met with the President of Slovenia Borut Pahor and the Prime Minister of Croatia Andrej Plenković. President Osmani thanked Slovenia and Croatia for their support for Kosovo's Euro-Atlantic integration and discussed the support of these countries in Kosovo's membership process in the Council of Europe and NATO's Partnership for Peace program.

During the summit, President Osmani also met with EU Council President Charles Michel, the Chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Šefik Džaferović, the Prime Minister of North Macedonia Dimitar Kovačevski and the Prime Minister of Moldova Natalia GavriliÈ›a.

At these meetings, President Osmani stressed the need to accelerate the integration of the countries of the region into Euro-Atlantic institutions and other areas of common interest.

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