Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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Statement of the President of the Republic, H.E. Mr. Bajram Begaj, at the official ceremony commemorating the Flag Day and 110th Anniversary of the Independence of Albania, in Vlora

Dear fellow citizens and compatriots,

Dear sisters and brothers of Vlora,

Dear dignitaries, friends and guests,

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With legitimate joy and pride, the glorious and heroic Vlora welcomes us today to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of Albania.

It was in this square and this city, on November 28, 1912, that the Independence Hymn of the new Albanian State first resounded, ushering our nation into the era of independence and sovereignty; thus, crowning centuries of efforts, aspirations and sacrifices.

Illustrious and visionary patriots, from all Albanian regions, led by the wise Ismail Qemali, brought the great efforts of the National Renaissance to life, finally giving our fatherland its rightful place in the great family of nations.

Our national history is a history of successive wars and innumerable sacrifices for freedom; it is a history of endless efforts for enlightenment and progress; it is a history of a people, whose love for the homeland rests above all else.

The Flag Raising in Vlora was not an isolated act of a bunch of patriots. Neither a gift, nor a product of diplomatic conjunctures, which had often been detrimental to the national interests of the Albanians.

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The Independence of Albania was and remains a great achievement of the Albanian nation, of countless generations and patriots, who with great historical responsibility, courage and foresight, brought about the centuries-old will of the Albanian people, in the face of the eminent precariousness of those days.

It was the valour of the Kosovar and all-Albanian youth, who armoured with the heroism and resolution cultivated through generations, stood up for their country and demonstrated to the entire world the sanctity of our freedom, language, homeland and national identity.

The Crown of the Independence of our beloved Albania is adorned with precious jewels, from the glorious deeds of Gjergj Kastrioti, to the Albanian League of Prizren, the opening of the first Albanian school in Korça, the League of Peja, the Congress of Manastir, and a series of Albanian uprisings in the beginning of the 20th century.

We recall all these great events of our national history today, so that generations do not forget, so that they think of their ancestors with gratitude and are filled with pride for our homeland, flag and national identity.

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We remember them so that we reflect on what we must do, as individuals and as a society, on how to help the progress and prosperity of our homeland and nation. Because, this flag and this land are the legacy of our forefathers; our common responsibility and affiliation.

110 years from the Declaration of Independence, we witness great changes in Albania, Kosova, North Macedonia, the Balkans, Europe and around the world.

The Albanian nation has continuously strengthened its deserved status and role, becoming a reliable actor and partner for peace, stability and good neighbourliness in our region.

Albania is a worthy member of NATO, the largest political and military alliance in the world, but also the largest alliance of values, democracy and prosperity. Albania is a trusted partner and ally of the USA, the EU, the United Kingdom and many other friendly countries in the world.

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If the partitioning of Albanian lands was the matter of discussions, 100 years ago, present-day Albania, as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, plays an important role in the preservation of peace, security and promotion of democracy.

We stand steadfast in the strategic objective of EU integration, as the best future and sustainable path for Albania, for the entire Albanian factor in the region and the region itself. In the beginning of December, the EU-Western Balkans summit will be held in our country. It is the first time, not only for us, but the entire region. A great moment and responsibility.

A message of support and encouragement for all Albanians and our future in the European family. An increased responsibility for institutions and the political class to continue with the reforms and advance the European agenda.

Despite achievements, we have a long way to go. But what we must do, first and foremost, is to love our fatherland through our actions, with service and idealism, in resemblance of the great patriots we honour today.

Our ancient and new history comes to us as a testament.


There is no better place than Vlora, or better day than today, to send out the message of our shared responsibility towards the country; and the primary responsibility of the political class and institutions.

We must work together to enable the progress of our country, the rule of law, the democratization of institutions, the respect of every individual and constitutional rights.

We must be together in the fight against corruption, inequality and poverty; together on issues of national security and justice reform; together for a free, engaged and educated society; for the inclusion and vote of the diaspora. For the Albania of equal opportunities, free media, of institutions that serve citizens, and of young people who find space and hope for their dreams and ideals to build their lives here, in Albania.

Albania’s responsibilities are even greater than that.

We have an obligation to support the Albanian factor in the region. We have an obligation to our Albanian brothers in Kosova, North Macedonia, Montenegro, the Presheva Valley and the diaspora.

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We are not only united by the common language and history, but also by the national aspiration of European Integration, as well as the values we share and manifest for peace, coexistence, understanding and prosperity.

We have sacrificed more than any other nation in the region, but today Kosova is a free and independent state, pursuing NATO and EU integration. Albania can and should support the strengthening of the state of Kosova on every level, be its voice whenever necessary; a fellow traveller and staunch supporter of the Euro-Atlantic journey.


Dear sisters and brothers,

The great patriots, we honour today, are the best example of unity for national interests.

Through this message today, I want to appeal to the Albanian awareness that our homeland and our nation needs the commitment, responsibility, service and love of each and every one of us.

From the beautiful Vlora of the Flag, I wish all Albanians in Albania, Kosova, North Macedonia, Montenegro, in the Presheva Valley, the Arbëresh, and all Albanians throughout the world:




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