Albania's Leaders Lock Horns Over New Foreign Minister

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on Twitter on Thursday condemned President Ilir Meta's refusal to endorse his nominee Gent Cakaj as new foreign minister, calling it "not just unconstitutional but also shameful".

He also issued an apology to Kosovo "about this shame", as Cakaj has citizenship of both Kosovo and Albania.

Earlier, President Meta refused to approve the new minister, claiming he was not up to the challenge of running diplomacy, in a move that could create a constitutional crisis in the country.

Cakaj, aged 28, was chosen by Prime Minister Rama for this key position after he decided to change about half of his cabinet last December in response to a wave of mass protests.

Meta has accepted all of Rama's six other nominations for ministerial posts.

In a letter sent to the Prime Minister earlier on Thursday, Meta said Cakaj had neglected his obligation to obtain security clearance for about seven months since he became a deputy minister.

He also raised doubts about the speed of the procedure followed by Albania's Security Check Commission to award him top-level clearance within one day on January 4.

"Cakaj does not fulfill the criteria, does not have credibility and does not offer the necessary guarantees to exert his duties objectively and with the required stature," Meta wrote.

Following Meta's decision, Rama mocked commentators in Albania and Kosovo that had supported Meta's decision, saying they were "defecating rivers of love for the nation". A much-repeated slogan of Meta's claims he works with "serenity and love" for the nation.

Under the constitution, the President cannot refuse to decree the appointment of ministers. However, Albania currently lack a functioning...

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