Prishtina, 20 May 2020 – Last night, the acting Minister of European Integration, Blerim Reka, participated in Columbia University debate: “The Future of Kosovo”, organized by ISHR and SESC. In this online debate facilitated by Prof. Dr. David Phillips from Columbia University in New York, the opening speech was delivered by Prof. Dr. Daniel Serwer from Johns Hopkins University, while in addition to the President of the Assembly of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, and former Prime Minister of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, the debate was also attended by Arta Dade, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania, Fatmir Mediu, former Minister of Defence of Albania, Sonja Biserko from the Helsinki Committee in Serbia and Miodrag Vlahovic, Ambassador of Montenegro to the Holy See. Initially, acting Minister Reka congratulated New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on managing COVID-19, conveying the support of the people of Kosovo to the citizens of New York and of the United States in these difficult days of coping with the pandemic. Regarding the future of Kosovo, acting Minister Reka said that the future of Kosovo cannot be imagined otherwise but being part of the Euro-Atlantic family of liberal democracies. Both Kosovo and the United States were born in the liberation war against colonial tyranny, while in times of peace they build liberal democracy. Kosovo was under Serbian colonial rule for a century, starting from annexation at the beginning to apartheid at the end of the last century. Therefore, the liberation war was the only solution to get rid of the foreign invader, while after the war Kosovo was supported by the most powerful Western alliance. Kosovo’s independence, said Minister Reka, was both legitimate (the plebiscitary will of the people for liberation from the foreign invader) and legal (based on international law as emphasized by the International Court of Justice in its opinion of 2010). The future of Kosovo, said acting Minister Reka, is being part of Western civilization, as a Republic based on the rule of law, a state having its borders protected by the Constitution and a government with good governance. Regarding the issue of Kosovo-Serbia dialogue discussed in this debate, acting Minister Reka said that it can no longer be as it was, i.e. there will no longer be asymmetric negotiations, but only negotiations between two equal states, which should conclude with mutual recognition between the two states – no territorial changes.
Last modified: August 4, 2022