Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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The story of Albania’s NATO membership is part of our nation’s journey towards building a society founded on the principles of democracy and freedom. It symbolizes the affirmation of our cultural and identity belonging within the Euro-Atlantic community.

Certainly, the membership process was not easy. It required commitment, sacrifice, and an unwavering desire to change. Joining NATO is a proud moment for Albania. It marked a significant milestone in our journey towards integration into Euro-Atlantic structures and was a clear testament to our commitment to democratic values and principles.

As a NATO member, Albania has shown that even small countries can play a significant role in maintaining international peace and security. Our contributions to peacekeeping missions and efforts to enhance our military capabilities clearly demonstrate this role.

Our membership in NATO is not just a military commitment; it is also a commitment to share a community of values. We have worked to strengthen the rule of law, combat corruption, and protect fundamental human rights and freedoms. These are not only NATO values but are also essential for the future of democracy and progress in Albania.

Albania’s resolve to contribute to security and defense shows that we are a reliable and committed partner in the Euro-Atlantic Alliance. We understand and recognize that security is not just a military matter but requires political stability, economic development, and respect for human rights.

Our unconditional commitment to NATO shows that we are prepared to participate not only in defending our borders but also in helping to maintain peace and stability in the region and beyond.

As we celebrate this anniversary, it is important to remember that our membership in NATO is not a destination but a continuous journey. We must continue to strengthen our democracy, invest in our military and civilian defense capabilities, and collaborate with our partners to build a more secure and sustainable future for all.

Albania in NATO was our primary objective and strategic aim. Our presence in the Alliance serves to protect the country from external threats and contributes to building a safer and more stable region. This year, we commemorated the 25th anniversary of the liberation of the Kosovar people, thanks to NATO’s intervention led by the USA. The Albanian nation will never forget this.

NATO’s resolve to prevent ethnic cleansing in Kosovo now takes on extraordinary value. We live in a time of rising geopolitical tensions and increasingly complex security challenges.

Our presence in NATO guides Albania in maintaining democratic values, defending national interests, and contributing to a safer and more stable world. The Euro-Atlantic Alliance is committed to protecting the freedom and security of its allies. Collective defense is the best response to any potential threats and risks.

Albania will continue to contribute significantly by actively participating and taking high responsibility in the missions we are part of. On the other hand, the allies have also shown trust in Albania. This is evident even in the recent investment by the Alliance in the Tactical Air Base in Kuçovë. This gives us further impetus to continue modernizing our military forces and enhancing our defense capabilities.

Distinguished guests,

Today we celebrate the 15th anniversary of our membership in the world’s most powerful political-military alliance, which has succeeded in protecting the shared values of freedom and democracy for 75 years. Today, we reaffirm our commitment to NATO’s values and our engagement for peace, security, and progress. As a member of this Alliance, Albania will continue to be a strong voice for democracy, a supporter of peace, and an unwavering contributor to the defense of the values we all share and cherish.

We thank our NATO allies, especially our strategic partner, the United States, for their ongoing support and leadership. Today, I am proud of our Armed Forces and express my gratitude for the extraordinary work of our officers and soldiers, who, with their dedication, have honored Albania. They deserve our full societal support so they can continue to fulfill their noble mission.

In closing, I want to express the joy and pride that the presence of students at this event gives me. We need our children and youth to be educated with love for their country because maintaining peace requires active people who love Albania and are aware that vigilance and preparation are the price of freedom.

Let’s enjoy this 15th anniversary and many more anniversaries of Albania in NATO!

Stronger, together!