President Meta meets NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg

President Meta meets NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg

Brussels, Belgium

The President of the Republic of Albania and at the same time the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, H. E. Mr. Ilir Meta paid an official visit to the NATO headquarters where he was welcomed by Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg.

Following the official meeting, President Meta and Secretary General Stoltenberg gave a joint press conference.

Official statement by the President of the Republic:

“It was a real pleasure to meet with Secretary General Stoltenberg.

We had a very good exchange of views on a number of important issues.

This year denotes the 70th anniversary of NATO, 20th anniversary of NATO’s intervention in Kosova, and Albania’s 10th anniversary of membership.

In 7 decades, NATO has stood unprecedently as the most successful area of peace and prosperity.

We understand very well what it takes and means to be part of a family funded upon the principles of security, freedoms and democracy.

We will honor the defense investment pledge, as a firm commitment to our Trans-Atlantic bond.

I was pleased to note a well-deserved recognition of Albania’s presence in NATO operations and missions, including in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

We are proud of our women and men serving to peace and freedoms within and beyond Alliance borders.

During the meeting I mentioned the importance we attach to selection of Kuçova air base for further NATO investment, as an added value not only for Albania but also for the region.

Upcoming accession of North Macedonia is another important achievement for the Western Balkans.

Two days ago, I met with North Macedonia’s President Pendarovski, and we both underlined that NATO’s open door policy and enlargement towards this region continues to be strategic and instrumental for peace and stability.

I still remember when I personally signed on 1st of May 2003, the US A3 initiative, aiming at accelerating Albania’s, Croatia’s and North Macedonia’s NATO accession processes.

We cannot be but proud that this process has been successful, and further extended to A5 format, which coincidentally is chaired by Albania this year.

In my discussions with Secretary Stoltenberg, I also encouraged continuity of NATO’s mission in Kosova and its strengthened presence in support of Kosova’s security institutions.

Kosova’s legitimate right to gradually transform Kosova Security Forces into a NATO inter-operable and multiethnic army, through a legal, transparent and democratic process, is a source of strengthened security.

I encouraged re-establishment of Kosova-Serbia dialogue aiming at a final legally binding agreement, which is durable, implementable, recognizes Kosova’s irreversible independence and sovereignty, contributes to peace and stability of the region and fully normalizes relations between the two countries.

We had a very thorough discussion on latest developments and fully agreed on increasing challenges in our security environment. That is why we need to preserve cohesion and unity.

We should unite all strategic efforts to keep the Western Balkans a west-oriented area, living in peace and sharing the values of the Alliance”.