British Minister for Europe, Sir Alan Duncan, is visiting Kosovo today where he met with senior government representatives, reaffirming the UK’s commitment to the Western Balkans and Kosovo and to discuss preparations for the UK-hosted 2018 Western Balkans Summit.
During his stay in Pristina, the Minister met President Thaci, Prime Minister Haradinaj, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Communities and Return, and the Ministers of Justice and Internal Affairs to discuss UK support for the rule of law in Kosovo.
Kosovo President Thaci in a press release issued after the meeting stated that Kosovo is grateful for the continued support of Great Britain to Kosovo, for recognizing Kosovo and for Kosovo’s membership into international organizations.
“Kosovo’s independence also bears the big stamp of London”, said President Thaci.
Whereas, the British Minister for Europe and the Americas, Sir Alan Duncan, said that Great Britain remains committed to the region, despite London’s relationship with Brussels.
“We want a region that lives in peace and stability”, stated Duncan.
President Thaci emphasized that Kosovo is a promoter of peace and dialogue in the region and works to build good neighbourly relations with all, including Serbia.
Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj s gave a statement to the media after the meeting with British Minister, highlighting that Duncan's visit is a rejuvenation of relations between Kosovo and United Kingdom, which dates back to the hardships that Kosovars went through, when the United Kingdom supported the people of Kosovo.
"In this meeting we mentioned our goal, and this goal is for Kosovo to continuously progress in law and order, in fighting organized crime and terrorism, to strengthen law enforcement institution, but also to identify joint projects, either regional projects or beyond in our Euro-Atlantic perspective", said Haradinaj.
British Minister Alan Duncan, on his first visit to Kosovo, thanked the Prime Minister for the warm welcome, and pointed out that close friendship between the two countries is very special and he is happy that Britain has played a major role in the new history of Kosovo.
"One of the most important developments during next year is the Balkans Summit that will be held in July in London, and one of the main reasons for my visit is to discuss with you and other neighbours about the work we should focus on this Summit, and we hope that we will be able to host a very constructive and meaningful event", said Minister Duncan.
Although the Summit and Minister's visit to Kosovo are held at the time when the United Kingdom is in the process of leaving the European Union, Minister Duncan assured that even though they will leave the EU, they will not leave Europe or the world.
"We will again be the United Kingdom who trade throughout the world, for friendship, for bilateral relations, and for helping to protect and secure our friends and allies. So the United Kingdom will not back down, we will again play our full role in the world, under what we call 'Global Britain',” said Duncan.
He said his country will also help Kosovo in fighting organized crime.
"It is important that we work with all countries in the region to overcome this problem", said the Minister.