Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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President Begaj answers journalists’ questions at the joint press conference with the President of Slovenia, Pirc Musar

Question no. 1- Recently, the Council of the European Union has given more importance to the Western Balkans, not only because of the recent geopolitical developments, but also because of the situations created. How do you evaluate cooperation among countries, taking into consideration the advice that the European Union and the European Council give us from time to time?

President Begaj – In fact, regional cooperation remains a prerequisite for the membership of the countries of the Western Balkan region in the European Union.

Albania pays a lot of attention to regional cooperation based on the rules of good neighborliness and the EU has thanked Albania for the proactive role that it has in building good neighborly relations, creating a spirit of cooperation between countries of the Western Balkans, as well as for guaranteeing peace and security in the region.

Albania appreciates the European Union’s new approach regarding the enlargement process, but certainly this does not mean that we should give up meeting the standards to become part of the European Union.

Our region faces some sensitive issues which are inherited from the past, from the distant and recent past, for which we should not remain hostage. They should serve us for the lessons learned, but we should think more about the issues that interest most of our people today, the issues that will interest them in the future, to guarantee prosperity for our peoples, especially for the youth. In this context, I would say that Albania definitely has a special thanks for Slovenia, for the fact that it has been an unwavering supporter of Albania’s integration process journey and a very good advocate of the enlargement process of the countries of the Western Balkans concerning the European Union enlargement process.

There are two important forums, Brdo-Brijuni and Bled Forum, which have on their agenda the approach of the Western Balkans, regional cooperation, and the integration process. This year, as the President said, the Brdo-Brijuni Summit will focus on those issues that are not related to ideological issues but are related to issues that are more sensitive for the region, to our people, the youth, immigration, natural disasters, energy, so that we can focus on solving everyday problems.

Question no. 2 – You stated that Albania is a country that should promote stability in the region. We know that this stability is not so self-evident. What is your comment on the current situation in the region?

President Begaj – I mentioned that Albania is a promoter of peace, security, stability, and long-term cooperation in the region. Stability is not given for free; you must work to have it and unfortunately the situation in the north of Kosovo, the situation of what happened recently, showed us that stability is very important.

The politics escalate to de-escalate is a politics of the day, which serves the politicians to win the next election, but it never serves the prosperity of the countries involved. As neighboring countries, it is up to us to build good neighborly relations, to cooperate with each other and instead of walls, to build bridges of cooperation.

It is up to us that every issue, old or new, issues that are connected by old or new differences must be discussed, and the only solution is dialogue and finding a compromise, since any deterioration of the situation of stability in the northern region of Kosovo will bring a destabilization of the entire region and beyond.

Instead of spending our energies to de-escalate the escalated situation, we should spend our energies working to implement the public agreement that the leaders of Kosovo and Serbia have accepted in Brussels and the annexes approved in Ohrid.