10 April 2019 Press statement of the President of the Republic of Albania, H. E. Ilir Meta
Taking into consideration and given the shocking event witnessed yesterday, the robbery that took place Mother Teresa’s Airport, I feel the responsibility and accountability in the capacity of the as President of the Republic to directly communicate with you and the public as well.
The repetition of such an event taking place inside a particular security facility is unacceptable and it demonstrates and indicates a significant lack of the security institutions’ functioning and accountability.
As a NATO member country, Albania and we have the obligation to guarantee the highest standards of security, especially those of a port and airport strategic infrastructure.
In the capacity of the Chairman of the National Security Council on May 16th, 2018, as you might know, I have organized and held the meeting of this Council focusing on the subject of: “National security situation and the annual security directives of the Republic of Albania regarding the year 2018; integrated border control and its management, the fight against organized crime, against terrorism and illegal immigration; civil emergencies, security of port and airport infrastructure infrastructures and cyber defense.”
Point 3 of the agenda of that meeting was: “Reporting on the Security of Strategic, Port and Airport infrastructures of the Republic of Albania.”
Based on the preliminary reports presented and put forth by the respective and responsible institutions, in particular I raised and brought up the concern regarding:
1. Lack of clear responsibilities about security at Mother Teresa’s Airport;
2. Shortcomings regarding the access and coordination for proper intervention of the State Police in cases of danger and threats.
These concerns were supported and evidenced by representatives of some important institutions that were present and took place in that meeting.
At the conclusion of this point of the agenda the necessity of and urgent treatment and serious dealing of all issues and the final solutions was discussed and presented.
At the end of the Council’s meeting, the respective duties assigned to each institution were officially handed and made known to all members of the National Security Council on June 8th, 2018, according to each and every one of their respective responsibilities.
Among those tasks, was duly noted and emphasized the urgent need to found a joint working group under the direction of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy which was requested to deal with and provide the solution of all security issues regarding Mother Teresa’s Airport, as evidenced and witnessed also during the robberies that took place on the tarmac and airplanes’ runway.
Under these circumstances, in the capacity of the President of the Republic, I consider the repeated event of yesterday’s robbery which took place inside the perimeter of Mother Teresa’s Airport to be a serious violation of our national security, public order and damaging the image of our country.
I call upon and urge the law enforcement agencies to continue the necessary operations aimed at fully identifying and capturing the robbery’s perpetrators, as well as to find and recuperate the money that was stolen.
All the responsible authorities and law enforcement institutions should carry out thorough and in-depth investigations needed to discover and shed light as quick as possible upon this serious and repeated event.
To outline and fully record and point out the responsibilities falling upon every institution that has not performed duly their tasks according to law to prevent this repeated event which could have caused more serious and dangerous and tragic consequences for the lives of our citizens and foreigners.
The Prosecutor Office should investigates not only yesterday’s robbery but also the failure to take the necessary measures enabling to meet the legal obligations and recommendations issued by the National Security Council, and to take on the responsibility of any institution and any individual who has not performed the respective task.
From this very moment on the Office of the President of the Republic will make available to the Prosecutor Office all the documentations available regarding the meeting and discussions of the National Security Council dated on May 16th, 2018 and also the conclusions it reached.