13.02.2020

Prime Minister Kurti: Ashkali Community Will Not Feel Discriminated and Marginalized

Prishtina, 13 February 2020

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, attended today the ceremony for the celebration of the Ashkali Community Day.

At the ceremony, Prime Minister Kurti emphasized that Kosovo cultivates diversity as an asset, further underlining that the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo will be treated without discrimination and without privileges.

Additionally, Prime Minister Kurti stressed that the Government is committed to ensuring that Ashkalis do not feel discriminated and marginalized but become instead equal citizens of the state of Kosovo.

Full speech of Prime Minister Kurti:

We have gathered here today to mark the Ashkali Community Day and their Flag Day, in honour of which we have organized a reception to welcome all representatives of their organizations and thus celebrate this special day together. In Kosovo, we cultivate diversity as an asset and we want to reiterate that the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo will be treated without discrimination and without privileges. To us, their rights are not only nominal, there to adorn our Constitution and laws, and we will make them part of our governing practices and development projects.

The Ashkali community is particularly attacked by poverty and unemployment as general phenomena, which should be mitigated by our Government. In this regard, our program stresses that our greatest assistance will be extended to those most in need.

Happy Ashkali Flag Day to everyone! We will reflect our commitment in the Government of the Republic of Kosovo, in the country’s institutions and in the society to ensure that Ashkalis do not feel discriminated and marginalized, but become as they should be, equal citizens of our state.

On this occasion, let me express my regret that the Member of the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo from the Ashkali community, Etem Arifi, and some representatives of other organizations are not with us here today due to a disagreement that has occurred between us.

We cannot continue the practice of previous governments, where particular communities received thousands of Euros based on an agreement but without any public call.

Let me assure you that we are willing to help and be the first to extend the hand of cooperation to the communities, especially the Ashkali community. However, we cannot violate the procedures; we cannot give 10 thousand or 12 thousand Euros based on an agreement, without any public call. The latter would require a certain period for implementation, while this is only day 9 in office as the new government.

We are sorry for their absence in this event. We will not eat these foods prepared for the event; instead, we will wrap them and have them delivered to the Ashkali community through our office. Meanwhile we will converse with the guests who have honoured us with their presence and whom we thank for their continued help and support.