13 July 2019 President Meta receives the Venice International Award “The Golden Lion” for promoting democracy and political pluralism.
The President of the Republic of Albania, H. E. Mr. Ilir Meta was awarded in Venice with the Golden Lion International Prize, with the motivation: “In honoring his contributions to promoting democracy and political pluralism, strengthening peace and stability in the Balkans, promoting the coexistence and religious harmony, as well as for strengthening the Italian-Albanian relations “.
President Meta, in the presence of Venetian region’s local authorities that endorsed this award, said as following:”Dear Friends of the Venice International Award!Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
This is an award that is primarily dedicated to the Albanian people.Especially the Albanians of Italy, those who came to Italy centuries ago to today’s Albanians, for workers, students, and for all Albanian families.
This is an award that also goes to thousands of Italians who live and work in Albania for years: entrepreneurs, students, professionals.
This award is a symbol of Italian-Albanian friendship, a unique and inseparable friendship.Everything can change in the world, but not geography, Italy and Albania are united by history and geography.
This is an award that goes even to the future of our relationships, the friendship of our youth, who are our hope.I was born 50 years ago in the darkest dictatorship that Europe has known.
Thanks to democracy I, a young student, became MP, minister, Prime Minister, Speaker of Parliament and President of the Republic, this award is dedicated to democracy as the only system that can change the future of young people and the citizens of a country.
This is an award, which is also dedicated to the moderate leaders of the region who, thanks to maturity and dialogue, have made the Balkan countries, which only brought crisis and war, be today closer to Europe and closer to peace among peoples.
This is an award that also goes to religious leaders who, intelligently, with consecration, sacrifice, harmony, and love toward the next generations have made it possible for interfaith dialogue and coexistence to be excellent and an example for the whole world.
This award is also dedicated to my family, for support and love they have given me, allowing me to work every day with perseverance and serenity.
Thank you dear friends!
Thank you Venice!
Thank you Italy! “