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Albin Kurti, the new prime minister of Kosovo, waves after a new government was elected Albin Kurti, the newly elected prime minister of Kosovo, waves after a new government was elected, in Pristina, Kosovo, Feb. 3, 2020 (AP photo by Visar Kryeziu).

Albin Kurti Believes Kosovo Is ‘Ready to Turn a New Page’

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

“The citizens of Kosovo voted massively for change,” said Albin Kurti, the country’s newly installed prime minister. “Kosovo is ready to turn a new page.” He may be right, but will they and their neighbors throughout the Balkans actually see that transformation, if their leaders can’t put the 1990s and the troubled years since behind them?

In exclusive comments to WPR, Kurti said that countries in the Balkans “are still suffering from the past while struggling to build the future.” A few years ago, Kurti was leading his fellow lawmakers in setting off tear gas amid a protest in Kosovo’s parliament, for which he received a suspended prison sentence of 18 months. Now, “Kosovo’s Che Guevara”—a name he picked up back in the 1990s when he led student protests against Serbia’s repression of ethnic Albanians—has the responsibility of leading its stalled push for international recognition, managing its troubled relations with neighboring Serbia and addressing internal challenges of corruption, poverty and weak public services. ...

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