Haradinaj wants to go to US; reportedly hits snag with visa

Pristina media are reporting that Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj wants to go to Washington for the Prayer Breakfast, organized by the US president.

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

However, Haradinaj has not been granted a visa to enter the US, which he requested earlier "in order to participate in a conference on the Balkans" - and the reason for the refusal are Pristina's trade barriers targeting goods from (central) Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, Al Jazeera Balkans reported late on Monday.

The office of the prime minister of the provisional Pristina institutions announced that he was yet to receive a response to the request for obtaining a US visa. Voice of America said it learned from the office that Hardinaj requested a visa in order to attend the Prayer Breakfast in Washington, rather than a conference.

The broadcaster noted that there was "no further explanation."

Pristina-based Albanian language media said on Monday that the US has asked Haradinaj to revoke the taxes and allow the continuation of the dialogue with Belgrade in order to reach a final agreement, or risk US sanctions being imposed on Pristina.

An adviser in Haradinaj's office, Avni Arifi, claimed, however, that no such document was received in Pristina.

Later in the day, Haradinaj said that Pristina was ready to temporarily suspend the imposed taxes (increased by 100 percent), "but only with prior assurance of firm international guarantees that an agreement on the normalization of relations between Belgrade and Pristina would envisage mutual recognition."

Haradinaj specified that he wanted "international guarantees that an agreement has been reached, is awaiting the signing, and that the document envisages mutual recognition."

"100 percent"

Serbian Foreign Minister and First Deputy PM Ivica Dacic commented late on Monday to say that according to information available to him, it was "100 percent true" that the US had threatened to impose "some type of sanctions" against Pristina unless it revoked the taxes.

Dacic also told RTS that it could be heard in diplomatic circles, and in conversations with people from the US State Department, that "if things remain the way they are" Haradinaj would not be able to travel to the US any time soon, i.e., that he would not be granted a US visa.

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