Canada/Montreal, June 11th 2018 – President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, said that western Balkans has never before had a better opportunity to build a sustainable peace.
This message President Thaçi conveyed at the “Europe at a crossroads” panel of the International Economic Forum of the Americas (IEFA), currently being held in Montreal, Canada.
“Today, every country of the western Balkans communicates in a normal manner with one another. We must harness this momentum and the EU must open its gate to the western Balkan”, said President Thaçi.
Speaking in relation to the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, President Thaçi said that this dialogue will recommence in the coming days or weeks, and that it will be a difficult one.
“It won’t be easy, but it will be historic and without any other alternative. Dialogue must conclude with a “win-win” result for both Kosovo and Serbia, in accordance with an agreement of European values and standards” said President Thaçi.
“Both Kosovo and Serbia aspire EU membership” said President Thaçi, adding that “this will of the people cannot come true without normalization and reconciliation between both countries and nations”
“I expect a leading role with new dynamics by the European Union and a strong support from USA, in order for this process to conclude successfully and as soon as possible for the benefit of all sides. Kosovo is ready for dialogue, for an agreement, because only in this manner can we move safely towards NATO and EU and to preserve the special relationship with the USA and partnership with the rest of our friends. Only a European Kosovo and Serbia can westernize the region” said President Thaçi.
Touching on the subject of the developments within EU, President Thaçi said that it is true that EU is facing crisis and challenges that touch on the EU identity itself, but the European citizens show that it trust the idea of integration and unity more than any other idea.
The other two panellists, Pascal Lamy, President Emeritus of the Institute “Jacques Delors” and Bernard Spitz, “MEDEF” President, stated that crisis which touched Europe, the 2008 financial crisis and BREXIT in particular, have reconfirmed to the European citizens the trust in the fact that only expansion of integration is a solution to the future of the continent.
According to them, this is demonstrated by not only Macron’s win in France but also the opinion polls carried out in the EU member states during the last two years.
President Thaçi was optimistic in his hopes that EU will find a solution.
“Solution will be found in building of a joint vision, but also in cross-Atlantic cooperation, cooperation with the United States of America and United Kingdom” said President Thaçi.