Foreign Minister Bushati’s diplomatic week: regional stability should not be sought at the expense of democracy

With EU VP/HR Federica Mogherini e Maltese Foreign Minister G.W. Vella

At the informal meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU, Minister Bushati Albania’s full alignment with EU policy in addressing common security challenges and highlighted the contribution and our country’s principled approach in facing these challenges.

Under the light of the escalating situation in Macedonia, Minister Bushati emphasized the need for an increased EU presence in the Western Balkans and for a cohesive attitude of member states on how to overcome democracy crisis in the region. “Such an approach would contribute to overcoming the tensions, caused by the resistance to reforms related to the rule of law. The rule of law cannot be sacrificed on the altar of stability”.

Minister Bushati discusses the Berlin Process with civil society organizations from countries of the region

As we pace ourselves towards European integration, I am happy to see that the Berlin Process has provided a new impetus to regional cooperation.

Over these last three years we have shaken hands more than previously, we have removed some of the stereotypes of the past and we have started to cooperate through joint connectivity projects. We hope that these efforts will bring prosperity to our citizens and will change the Western Balkans from a patchy region into an interconnected and functional one.

The Berlin Process has the potential to provide a long-term strategic development vision for the region which goes beyond our political mandates.

Interview of Minister Bushati with European Western Balkans: Berlin Process had tremendous political effects

There is a political dimension of the Berlin Process that has brought the engagement of political elites in the region up to a new level. We have demonstrated the political will and the political leadership into a process that, of course, needs a political soul. Over the past three years, there have been more thoughtful discussions about regional cooperation and joint projects, and the overall climate is better than three years ago. But, we also need to materialize in concrete terms what we have agreed in the Berlin Process. Nowadays, we have a connectivity pact, but we are lacking financial instruments and in some cases this has been coupled with the lack of absorption capacities by Western Balkan countries”.

EWB: You were recently accused by the Macedonian government of interfering with the political process in Macedonia, which created an international problem. What do you think can be the effects of the Macedonian crisis of the region?

DB: I think this is part of the wave of propaganda that we are confronted with in the Western Balkans, because facts are well known. You will never find a friendlier neighbor to Macedonia than Albania. A neighbor that has never put into question the territorial integrity of Macedonia, neither its language nor its identity, as other neighbors might have done. We have always urged the authorities in Macedonia to create a better interethnic climate in the country, which is necessary not only for the democratic stability of Macedonia, but also for its Euro-Atlantic path.

We were concerned by recent actions and moves of political actors in Macedonia, who have tried to transform the current democracy crisis into an interethnic crisis. In such a tensed context we have advised our friends in Macedonia to overcome political differences, to improve interethnic relations and to implement fully both the Ohrid and Pržino agreements, because this is the only path that can ensure democratic stability and prosperity in Macedonia.

MFA welcomes and applauds the decision of the Court of Colmar, France, for the release of Ramush Haradinaj

Minister Bushati welcomed the French court’s decision and conveyed fraternal greetings to all the people of Kosovo by stating: “Justice may arrive late but never forgets! Welcome back home Ramush Haradinaj!”.

MFA considers the decision a victory of truth and justice against all baseless and politically motivated accusations, which, since the very beginning have sought to smear a political and public authority, to destabilize the state of Kosovo, and to equate the efforts of the people of Kosovo and the UÇK for freedom and self-control from the monstrous crimes of Milosevic’s regime.

Tuzi already with an independent municipality status

Prime Minister Rama and Minister Bushati with Albanian representatives in Montenegro
“I take this opportunity to congratulate all Albanians in Montenegro for this achievement and rely on my conviction that they will demonstrate proper accountability to ensure the success of this new municipality”.

A constructive discussion with representatives of EU member states during their annual visit to our country

The questions posed transmitted the anxiety of member states to see the implementation of the justice reform as soon as possible, as the only way to secure the democratic stability of our citizens. Only the fulfillment of our commitments and the implementation of Vetting, will bring Albania back to a favorable position in the region and towards our strategic partners.

Foreign Minister Bushati’s diplomatic week: regional stability should not be sought at the expense of democracy

By the Department of Public Diplomacy — The above materials are easy to find on the Albanian MFA Webpage, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Flickr.