The long letter that the President of Republic has sent to PM Edi Rama and which IBNA holds, provides a number of arguments why he rejected the nomination of Gent Cakaj, 28 years old, Albanian from Kosovo, who also holds Albanian citizenship, as minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania.
First, the President of Republic says that “the position of the minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs is one of the most important positions in the cabinet; now more than ever that the country is part of the OSCE Troika and when in less than a year, it’s getting ready to take over its presidency. This is a historical step and a responsibility which goes beyond the borders of Albania and the region”.
“Meanwhile, the days, weeks and the months to come are decisive because Albania is ahead of a vital decision: the opening of accession talks with the European Union in June 2019. The advancement of dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, with the aim of strengthening the European perspective for both countries, is also another important development of our region”.
Meanwhile, Meta adds that “because there’s no time to experiment and test the capacities and skills of the proposed minister in front of current major challenges that the country faces and its national interests, I believe that the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs should be led by an experienced and effective person, who has a high sense of state, national and administrative responsibility and one who is aware of the great and decisive impact that he will have on foreign policy, particularly next month, but also during Albania’s presidency of the OSCE, which is a historical responsibility for our country”.
The president also says that “the profile of Mr. Genti Cakaj, who has been proposed for the post of the minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, clearly lacks political, diplomatic, administrative and stately experience in each individual element and as a whole”.
The president continued with his criticism on Cakaj:
“While exerting his duty as vice minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr. Gent Cakaj has shown that not only he lacks the necessary experience in foreign policy, but his public declarations regarding key issues which concern our regional policy are unacceptable”.
Here, Mr. Meta mentions the declarations that Mr. Cakaj has made about the idea for border adjustments between Kosovo and Serbia and also in the Western Balkans, by stressing that “they’re against the program of the current government for foreign policy”.
Meta considers Mr. Cakaj’s declarations as “dangerous and with unpredictable consequences in the region and beyond” and that “they’re against the regional policy of the Albanian state, NATO and the European Union”.
The president also believes that “supporting, sponsoring or failing to react decisively against ideas for territorial swaps and border adjustments in the region represents a destructive approach which threatens peace and security in the region and it goes against Albania’s obligation as a NATO member country.” According to Meta, “this also mines the country’s credibility as a factor of stability in the region”.
Meanwhile, the President has also identified other problems with Rama’s candidate for the post of the minister of Foreign Affairs.
“Gent Cakaj displayed a lack of responsibility while exerting his duty as vice minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, by disregarding the laws and acts that guarantee a secure movement of state classified information. He was nominated vice Minister of Foreign Affairs without obtaining the mandatory security clearance”.
What’s more, Cakaj has filled the application form on 3 January 2019 (3 days after he was proposed for the post of Foreign Minister).
But, “by failing to fill the application form and by failing to obtain a clearance certificate for the period 7 June 2018 to 3 January 2019, not only has Cakaj jeopardized classified information involving the state, NATO and EU, but he has also openly disregarded a clear legal obligation”.
Meanwhile, “the fact that it only took a day to DSIK to issue a security clearance for Mr. Gent Cakaj (04.01.2019), clearly shows that this process has taken place in urgent circumstances and against the procedures and requirements foreseen in the law ‘On classified state information’”.
“Judging by the way how Cakaj has been issued with a security clearance in just one day, does not guarantee the credibility of the Security Clearances issued by the Department of Classified Information (DSIK)”, the president notes.
Another issue concerning Cakaj relates to the fact that he has lived in Belgium and Hungary for several years and although the law requires it, no checks have been made there despite the fact that Cakaj was appointed vice Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Under these circumstances, the President officially rejects Cakaj’s nomination for the post of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and does not accept the dismissal of the existing minister, Ditmir Bushati.
PM Edi Rama now must either accept Bushati’s reinstatement or propose another person for this post. /ibna/