Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

2b68f69a 8899 49be a59c ae99224cbed4



Honorable high-ranking NATO military officials,

Dear soldiers and personnel of the Armed Forces,

The revitalization of the Kuçova Air Base marks a new chapter in the history of defense and security for our country and the entire region.

This base is a result of cooperation, solidarity, coordination, and collaboration among allies, highlighting Albania’s commitment to security and defense.

From this base, we jointly send a powerful message of peace and demonstrate NATO’s resolve to protect the freedom and security of its allies, ensuring collective defense.

I express my gratitude to all our NATO allies, especially our strategic partner, the USA, for their unparalleled support towards Albania’s Euro-Atlantic journey.

The obligations stemming from NATO membership and the EU accession process naturally align with Albania’s strategic interests.

The NATO Tactical Air Base in Kuçova, where history meets modernity, symbolizes a bridge where the past and present unite to secure a safe future.

This development is not just a military achievement; it’s a clear symbol of our commitment to protect our country and the democratic principles and values we, as NATO allies, share.

Albania and Kuçova were not chosen randomly. This reflects the appreciation and trust allies have in Albania as a worthy and committed partner.

Through this investment, NATO demonstrates Albania’s strategic importance to the alliance.

It’s an investment to strengthen the capabilities, plans, resources, and infrastructure of the alliance.

For Albania and our Armed Forces, it’s a much-needed and welcomed strategic investment in security and defense over the years.

This investment is particularly significant as security in the Euro-Atlantic space is under threat.

The unprovoked aggression of Russia against Ukraine, situations in the Middle East and other regions, terrorism, and other threats pose challenges to the interests and values of the Euro-Atlantic community.

Political-military confrontations risk escalating and spreading. This was most evident in last September’s terrorist attack in Banjska, Kosovë.

That attack showed how fragile security in our region is and proved there are still local actors trying to shape the future with a past that should not return.

In this unstable global security situation, we must always be ready to defend ourselves and contribute to the Alliance for ensuring peace, security, and stability.

Therefore, the Kuçova Base has a defensive and deterrent mission, a significant center for NATO operations to face today’s and tomorrow’s threats.

Albania will continue to play its constructive role in the region and beyond.

Increasing the defense budget, modernizing our armed forces, enhancing defensive capabilities, and strengthening human capacities are necessities.

I support every initiative the government has undertaken for the social support of the Armed Forces personnel because being part of the Armed Forces is not just a profession, it’s a national pride, serving the Homeland and the noble cause of peace and security.

Honored guests,

This year, NATO celebrates its 75th anniversary and Albania its 15th anniversary of membership. There’s no better way to celebrate these milestones than with such significant investments.

This base, and our commitment to NATO,

is an investment in the defense of our country,

is an investment in the future of our children and the generations to come,

is proof of our commitment to work together with our allies to build a safer world for all.

Thank you!