Sunday, 18 November 2018 | News today: 7

Hashim Thaci: Vote “yes” on referendum

The agreement reached with Greece over the name is the most righteous decision, because the future of both Kosovo and Macedonia and the entire region is in EU and NATO. Kosovo gives full support to move forward to NATO membership and European future.

This has been underlined at Wednesday’s joint press conference of PM Zoran Zaev and Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, who is paying a one-day visit to Macedonia.

Thaci called the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia to take part in the referendum and to vote “yes” because, as he assessed, Macedonia in NATO means peace in the entire region, including Kosovo. For him, this is a historic moment which should be used.

We held a meeting as leaders of two countries that do not have open issues, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said at a joint press conference.

Positive and constructive bilateral relations and cooperation at all levels achieved so far encourages us to go a step further, to open new opportunities for further improving and boosting the mutual relations, Zaev said.

Such opportunities are opened with mutual support of opening of Belanovce-Stancic border crossing point as well as with necessary infrastructure connection by construction of section of Blace-Skopje highway, Zaev said, expressing his beliefs that this will intensify economic cooperation and will increase the volume of trade between the two countries.

According to him, a good step forward will be the establishment of joint committee on economic cooperation and other joint committee on identifying additional joint projects and on building joint strategies for better interaction between business communities of the two countries.

Zaev noted that one of the common priorities is energy connectivity and energy cooperation. The Kosovo lignite for Macedonian companies, as a joint project, is of particular importance. At the same time, Macedonia will initiate the construction of a gas pipeline for Kosovo.

All these initiatives will be on the agenda of the joint government session, which will be held soon.

Zaev highlighted that the regional cooperation and integration in the EU and NATO is an important and joint issue.

It is our strategic commitment for which we have already positive experiences. It is a result of our approach in regard to this process. It is very open, constructive and sincere. Without hidden agendas, Zaev said, welcoming the ongoing dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade.

Progress in this direction is crucial for sustainable regional stability and development, Zaev added.

Macedonia supports a positive solution for Kosovo which would improve prosperity of the Albanians, Serbs and other citizens of Kosovo. A solution that will strengthen peace, security and prosperity of Kosovo, Serbia and entire region, Zaev said. It is very important the leaders in the region to be united for same goals: sustainable peace, economic development, regional cooperation and EU membership, he added.

Thaci in this regard underlined that a historic agreement should also be reached between Kosovo and Serbia, and which would mean reciprocal recognition and the only way to achieve is the dialogue.

Agreement is very difficult to achieve, there are many barriers. I am an optimist, Thaci said, adding that he will make enormous efforts to achieve historic agreement with Serbia which will preserve the multiethnicity without solution on ethnic lines.

Asked about issue on border demarcation with Serbia, Thaci once again reiterated that peaceful solution should be reached with dialogue, with debates and compromise, in European manner, and the neighbouring friendly countries will feel “comfortable.”

Kosovo respects the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all countries, Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania but also the demarcation process of 430 kilometers border line with Serbia should be completed. When I was Prime Minister, the first country with which we completed the demarcation process was Macedonia. Debates and discussions were not easy, but were successful, Thaci underlined.

Asked why he will not meet with President Gjorge Ivanov, Thaci told reporters that he will not take sides, and the policies should not be guided by political schemes, but by national interests of both countries and the citizens.