Haradinaj still waiting for US to approve his visa

Pristina-based media are on Monday reporting that Kosovo PM Ramush Haradinaj is yet to receive his US visa, two weeks after applying.

Source: Tanjug
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(EPA, file)
(EPA, file)

The reason is that the US State Department is "not ready to meet with him" - Tanjug said in an article citing KTV, which quoted the Albanian language daily Koha Ditore.

During the weekend, unconfirmed media reports out of Pristina said that Haradinaj wishes to travel to the US in February for the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC - and that the visa application had in fact been rejected.

On Monday, the media speculated that "the refusal of US officials to meet with Haradinaj is the result of his refusal to ratify the agreement on demarcation with Montenegro, and of the initiative to revoke the decision to form the special war crimes chamber for KLA ("Kosovo Liberation Army")."

According to Tanjug, Kosovo-based media believe that the question of the trip of Haradinaj, Hashim Thaci, and Kadri Veseli to the United States for the event is "a test for the three political leaders, considering that they support the initiative to revoke the decision to form the special court."

Haradinaj posted a message on Facebook on Sunday to confirm that he applied for a visa, and add that "the procedure is in progress."

His political adviser, Avni Afiri, told KTV that the government had not yet received a response to Haradinaj's visa request, while Haradinaj's cabinet confirmed that the application was submitted to the US embassy in Pristina at the end of December.

KTV asked the US embassy whether the application was rejected or not, but said it received "no response."

It is also reported that the embassy normally grants requests for diplomatic visas "within one day."

In his Facebook post, Haradinaj expressed faith that his visa would be approved.

"On March 24, 1998, we had moments of life or death, it continued until March 24, 1999, when America and NATO came to our aid, and I will never forget that. I am waiting for my visa... I believe in Kosovo, I believe in America! The visa issuing procedure is in progress," he wrote.

It also remains unknown whether Kosovo President Hashim Thaci will be able to travel to the US. Pristina-based media are reporting, citing his cabinet, that Kosovo Assembly President Kadri Veseli is for now the only one with a visa.

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