Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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Dear compatriots,

Dear ambassadors,

Dear representatives of religious communities,

Dear media representatives,

Dear friends and guests,

Welcome and thank you for joining us on the most significant day of the Albanian nation, the 111th anniversary of Albania’s declaration of independence, the day of our flag.

As we enter the second century of Albania’s independence this November, much has been accomplished owing to the unwavering efforts of Albanians both inside and outside of its borders. For this reason, we should be incredibly proud of our country, which is also the house of God and our guest.

November 28 is the celebration of a nation which knew how to preserve their unique identity as part of the European culture without causing any conflicts or targeting any territory.

Every day, Albanians living in the Balkans demonstrate how borders can become meeting points for opportunities rather than places where disputes and divisions can be revived.

Our friendship and trust have been and continue to be as true as nature’s generosity to Albania and Albanians’ generosity to every guest.

On November 28th, 580 years ago, our national hero Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu (Skanderbeg) raised the red and black flag for the first time in Kruja. It became our national symbol, embodying our people’s best values of coming together in the face of danger and accepting sacrifice in the name of national interest.

On November 28th, 1912 Ismail Qemali, the Father of our Nation, raised the flag and declared the independence of Albania.

On November 28th, in Prekaz Kosovo, the hero Adem Jashari was born, the leader of the liberation of Kosovo and the hero of all Albanians.

November 28 is a day to honour and remember the past and find inspiration for the future, towards which we have overcome many difficulties and sacrifices.

Today is a day to humbly and gratefully remember the extraordinary sacrifice made by the Albanian patriots and written in their blood, hundreds of thousands of Albanians from Vlora and Pristina, Ulcinj and Tetovo, Shkodra and Çameria, who lit the flame, chased away the darkness of captivity, and declared Independence.

Dear friends,

A small country with an immeasurable experience as a peace actor in international relations, Albania is already facing the challenges of establishing domestic and international strategic policies.

These are mainly concerned with raising the standard of living for our people and finalising our integration into the European family, which needs our energy and history as much as we need its social experience and legal and administrative excellence.

Albania is responsible for consolidating democratic stability, economic prosperity, security, and peace due to its excellent level of cooperation with our main ally, the USA, with the EU and its member countries, and other significant regional and international partners.

The latest developments in the international arena have demonstrated that peace is never secure enough, and prosperity is never sufficient.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This day finds Albania one step closer to the European Union.

In this regard, I appreciate the achievements of the justice reform, which is yielding results and instilling hope and trust in the public and our partners. I also encourage the structures of the justice system to keep up with their hard work, professionalism and dedication.

I believe the European Union community will take concrete steps to accelerate the accession of Western Balkan countries. This is vital for us and strategically important for the European Union.

​The Western Balkans remains a neuralgic point of Europe, which third actors can use to bring insecurity.

Albania will continue to play a constructive role in promoting peace, stability, and regional cooperation as a NATO member country and as an active country in regional initiatives, particularly in the Berlin Process.

Thanks to its enhanced credibility as a partner and to its constructive role, Albania became a non-permanent member of the Security Council and chaired it for the first time, and it was recently elected a member of the Human Rights Council and UNESCO.

A solid and democratic Albania best serves the interests of every Albanian factor in the region. We are lucky to have two Albanian states in the region after many efforts and with the valuable help of our international partners. Cooperation with Kosovo in equal positions, as two states of one nation, should be as close, symmetrical and complementary as possible. We can both learn a great deal from each other. We still have to work more to meet our citizens’ expectations.

Dear friends and guests,

The developments of the last 20 years have highlighted the Albanian factor in a new light in regional and international relations. Our collective responsibility is to turn this new perspective into sustainable development opportunities for the country.

Obviously, our diplomatic actions must go hand in hand with improving the country’s economic, political and social life.

Albania’s human resources are already competitive in the European and global markets. This requires that we become more effective in preserving them, focusing on an economic model that promotes initiative in a free market, guarantees fair competitiveness and ensures that Albanians work in their own country.

The economy has grown reasonably, and I would like to highlight the growth of tourism. Traditionally significant sectors like agriculture, health, and, in particular, education deserve special attention.

With the electoral reform, now it is the appropriate time to ensure the diaspora’s vote and political representation.

Regardless of our accomplishments, we can not underestimate these challenges.

Albania is built not with indifference or passivity but with hard work, willpower, dedication, activism, belief in success and, of course, love for this land. We do not stay and wait for the future. We build it.

In this context, I call on the representatives of the Albanians in the Parliament to work hard toward establishing an Albania ruled by law, which places a high priority on the well-being of all citizens, and allows everyone to live and work with honour and dignity. Throughout your parliamentary life, be guided by the national interest over ideological differences, compromise over confrontation, respect over arrogance, and most importantly, responsibility for the future and love for the country.

Our forefathers succeeded in rising to the height required by the time and declaring Albania an independent country. They succeeded in establishing a historic union in the interest of the country. Today, we face an equally difficult mission: working towards building a fair society.

This is our historical responsibility, which we cannot transfer to others or expect others to take such a responsibility.

Many people in Albania have not given up in the face of difficulties and have managed to build a good life here. Success stories give us hope and courage, reminding us that this country can and will only be built with desire, willpower, and faith and that only hard work leads to success.

Recalling is not a goal in itself. History itself is endless, as is the effort to protect freedom, national identity and democratic values.

Today it is our turn to carry the baton of this effort. May we carry it with honor, modesty and awareness of the courage and determination of the patriots who ignited the unquenchable flame of independence!

Dear Friends,

I would like to close this speech by expressing my pride that Albania, a country blessed with the natural assets and the kindness of its people, has been here for centuries, will continue to be here for centuries to come, and will always be here.

God bless our Flag! God bless Albania and Albanians!