Address of the President of the Republic to the Bureau of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

Address of the President of the Republic to the Bureau of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly

Copenhagen

Dear President Tsereteli,
Dear Secretary General Greminger,
Dear Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly Montella,
Members of the Bureau,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to attend this Bureau meeting, upon the kind invitation of George and Roberto, who have offered the opportunity to share some of my views, also in context of Albania’s 2020 OSCE Chairmanship in Office.

Albania has a long standing and excellent cooperation with the Parliamentary Assembly, a cornerstone of OSCE efforts for comprehensive security and cooperation.

I would like to thank President Tsereteli and Secretary General Greminger for the strong support given to the Albanian bid 2020, which will undoubtedly succeed with an intensive interaction and cooperation with PA Office, OSCE Secretariat and all autonomous OSCE Institutions.

I am glad that the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly continues to be an effective multilateral forum addressing critical international issues and challenges through inter-parliamentary dialogue and support.

I want to note that I highly appreciate the increasing role of the Parliamentary Assembly, particularly in election monitoring, which helps to promote democracy, security and confidence within and between participating States.

Furthermore, through the regional outreach of your four special representatives and the thematic work of the committees on Countering Terrorism and managing Migration flows, you advance inter-parliamentary diplomacy and dialogue within the OSCE area in a tangible way.

Attentive and inter-active dialogue is key to understanding real threats posed to fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law near and far, as well as to better fighting terrorism and violent extremism however it manifests itself.

Albania welcomes the 25th Anniversary of the Contact Group with the Mediterranean Partners and we are very happy to chair the group in this jubilee. With our Mediterranean Partners for Cooperation we share old bonds of friendship, deeply rooted in history, culture, and traditions.

We are therefore well-equipped and will spare no effort to ensure that contact in the framework of this Group is meaningful, and contributes to enhance our common security.

I want to share with you that during my latest visit in Egypt, I found a full understanding that cooperation and solidarity in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism is indispensable for a peaceful and prosperous Mediterranean region.

Albania will continue to build up on Slovakian priorities, of which I would underline the need to focus on people affected by conflict and effective multilateralism, which are now more relevant than ever.

We share the concerns of many OSCE countries when it comes to the crisis in and around Ukraine, as well as protracted conflicts in Transdniestria, Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh and we reiterate that it is the obligation not only of States, but also of non-state actors and those in control of these areas, to guarantee and protect the human rights of all people.

Albania remains devoted to continue our joint cooperation on serious challenges that OSCE region is going through, varying from illegal migration to human rights violations, fight against terrorism, VERLT, etc. for which the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly has a vital role to play.

It is of paramount importance that OSCE remains a platform for dialogue, cooperation and security and do more also in helping the countries in the region towards European and Euro-Atlantic path.

Albania soon expects the progress report of the European Commission and the following European Council decision regarding the possibility of opening accession negotiations. I would have liked to see a more optimistic domestic political condition, preceded by a well advanced structured political dialogue and consensus on 5 key reform areas.

I cannot hide that I am anything but happy with the current situation, which I hope takes a reasonable U-turn sooner rather than later, through responsible and effective dialogue also in view of the very important role Albania has to play in the Western Balkan region, as a decisive factor to strengthen regional stability and security.

With that regard, I want to underline the great achievement that this region marked with the Prespa Agreement between the Republic of North Macedonia and Greece, reached through constructive dialogue and based on the indispensable premises of a common Euro-Atlantic and European future.

NATO’s accession invitation to the Republic of North Macedonia was the right decision at the right time. Macedonia’s membership to NATO, and its acceleration to European Union will benefit not only the country but will also translate to a more secure, stable and prosperous region.

Whereas another regional window of opportunity presents itself in the Kosova-Serbia dialogue, I want to emphasize that it is of vital importance that both parties in charge in this process resume as soon as possible, their talks aiming at a final agreement that is durable and implementable, respects the European values and principles, normalizes their bilateral relations and strengthens and reinforce peace, security and stability in our region.

I thank you for your attention, and I assure you of my outmost support to increase contacts and deepen our dialogue and cooperation within the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly in the future.

I count on all of you for the success of our Chairmanship in Office in 2020, and look forward to seeing you all again in the near future.