Kosovo mulling over inclusion in TAP pipe

Kosovo mulling over inclusion in TAP pipe

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Kosovo is interested in becoming part of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project as a Balkan state, a project which would also comprise of Serbia and other Balkan countries, Deputy Foreign Minister of Kosovo Petrit Selimi told Hürriyet Daily News in a recent interview.

“Kosovo is looking over the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project, its purpose to transport gas from Shah Deniz via Turkey, Greece, and Albania to Italy. Could we become a part of that distribution of gas so we can ensure the diversification of our energy supply?” Selimi said during his visit to Ankara last week for official talks. 

Kosovo wanted to contribute to discussions in order to enable a Balkan ring of gas distribution, the deputy minister said, noting that they were at preliminary talks, just prior to feasibility studies.

“The idea is a ring via Kosovo to Serbia that will also connect the rest of Balkans. The present project is from Turkey to Albania. But, we’d like to be in discussions in which we can extend this via Kosovo to other countries,” he stated.

“As a market we are too small to do a brand new pipeline, but we can be a connecting piece of the puzzle for the integration of Balkan energy market,” Selimi said.

Commenting on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s controversial remarks, “Kosovo is Turkey, Turkey is Kosovo,” Selimi said that it’s “unfair to put the words of Prime Minister Erdoğan out of context.” Neighboring Serbia, however, reacted strongly to the comments, seeking an apology from Ankara over the comments and since pulling out of talks with Turkey and Bosnia regarding a regional tripartite initiative.

500 years of joint history

“Those remarks were an affirmation of deep bounds, rather than statements with geo-political connotations. I think the relationship between Turkey and Kosovo is between Turkey and Kosovo. Other neighboring countries should not feel being threatened by that,” he said. 

Turkey and Kosovo had 500 hundred years of joint history and a cultural affinity, the deputy minister said citing Kosovans living in Germany. 

“Kosovo is also Germany and Germany is Kosovo. We have 400,000 Kosovans in Germany. So the world today is not black or white,” Selimi said stressing that his country was proud of being a country with many layers.