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“Die Welt”: Visa liberalization would essentially affect the daily life of Kosovars

Pristina, June 20 – The prestigious German newspaper “Die Welt” has published a interview with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, Enver Hoxhaj.

This article titled “Kosovo wants to join the modern” describes the situation in Kosovo according to the viewpoint of authors Daniel-Dylan Böhmer and Michael Stürmer as quotations of Minister Hoxhaj’s statements on the mentioned developments are provided.

Initially the article talks about the biography and a profile description of Minister Hoxhaj. “During his visit in Berlin a few days ago, avoiding the plastic language formulas, one could see the scientist in him which is contains the pragmatic analyst and historian seeking for answers. However, it is also noticeable that Minister Hoxhaj has the grasp of the diplomatic code in knowing to stress the necessary accents in front of the difficult position in which his country stands and which still continues its journey towards Europe”, the article points.
In answering the question of what is most important to him, Hoxhaj, according to “Die Welt” gave a coded answer” Travel, travel, travel”. “One can see that this minister is always engaged that his country be positioned in political maps and remain there despite all the changes and obstacles it faces. The Foreign Minister of Kosovo is also engaged that the citizens of his country be also able to travel because so far for Kosovars it is almost impossible to obtain a visa in traveling to the EU countries. The visa liberalization which Brussels made possible for the western Balkans in 2009 applies to all but Kosovo – for the birth of which state Europe itself had helped”, the article goes on.

Nonetheless, Minister Hoxhaj is very optimistic by referring to the recent visit to Kosovo of the EC President Barroso and the Charge d’Affaire of the Foreign Policy Catherine Ashton. Hoxhaj says that “they confirmed to us that next year we may start the talks on visa liberalization, if the next EU Progress Report for Kosovo results positive”.

If that will happen, according to “Die Welt”, this would be a historic moment for this small country and a perspective which would essentially affect the daily life of its residents.

The article also elaborates the fact that the EU, on which Kosovo hopes greatly, is not unified in its position. “Five of the 27 member states still have not recognized Kosovo and the government of each of these states have their own internal reasons already known: Spain because of the Basques, but also Greece and Cyprus, Romania and Slovakia are very reserved. If the Minister, as if by accident, says that Kosovars are a “forgotten nation” this is not due to self-pity but more that that as a call addressed to Europe which through the credible stability, by opening borders and secured contractual relationships may give an end to this blurry situation or of forgetfulness, continues the text.

A summary of a decade of events in Kosovo is presented by concluding that the Federal Republic of Germany continues to remain as a tutor and key supporter, in which, according to the paper, live 250,000 Kosovars.

The other part of the article talks about the EU’s force of attraction in the Balkans by stating that the EU is able to save the Balkan nations from the ghosts of the past, which is a dream of many in the region.

In the political and cultural aspect my country has wasted 20 years, says Minister Hoxhaj, in the years where they were fought, persecuted and murdered. The neighboring countries have managed to consolidate and create institutional structures and in this way they can also announce their European claims.

“Currently, the issue of visa liberalization is a short-term goal of Kosovo’s foreign policy, and which also represents the key condition in having access to the modern. For as long as Kosovo is left outside of Schengen area, citizens see themselves as Europe’s prodigal sons. Nothing is still completed in the Balkan region. Yugoslav wars were focused against the Serbian hegemony but did not manage to establish a balance, therefore, even in the future, the EU in general and Germany is particular are more than necessary” writes the newspaper article of the German “Die Welt”.   

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