Albansk udenrigspolitik - sommeren 2002

Udgiver: Kultursociolog Bjørn Andersen


I slutningen af August 2002 var der årsmøde i Udenrigsministeriet med deltagelse af de Albanske Ambassadører m.fl..

VicePM, UM Ilir Meta holdt 020829 tale for de Albanske Ambassadører som følger nedenfor.

Bemærk betragtningerne om et 'Europæisk Kosóva' [=et selvstændigt Kosóva] og om de Albanske relationer til Serbien / Jugoslavien der er blevet væsentligt forbedrede siden Milosevic-styret blev væltet. Desuden bemærkningerne om EU og om 'den strategiske Allierede: USA'. Der står ikke meget om relationerne til Grækenland (for man vil ikke overdrive problemerne ved grænsepassagen i sommer; man har brug for at stå sig godt med Grækerne - og derfor vil man ikke optræde udæskende).

Honorable Ambassadors, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to open the Annual Conference of Albania’s Ambassadors and Heads of Diplomatic and Consular Representations in the world.

This meeting is institutionalized as one of the advanced forms of dialogue to analyze our common work and to discuss about the priorities of our foreign policy and means of its implementation.

Based on this experience we should altogether aim to converting this important activity to an essential component of refining our foreign policy.

A month ago, the new Government presented its program and the priorities of our foreign policy, emphasizing the axes for its further development in the attempts to cope with the increasing needs for a professional, dignified and ambitious presentation in real time. I would like to reconfirm the fact that the Foreign Policy axes in general will remain stable. It will be further consolidated, since diplomacy in its essence, as I have pointed out before, is an expression of the state continuity and its long-term interests.

There is no doubt that the direct wording of this policy is the process of European Integration, which for the whole Albanian society and especially for the entire political spectrum, overwhelmingly constitutes the fundamental main stream of the country’s foreign policy.

Therefore, it is a primary task of the Albanian diplomacy that in close collaboration with its high state institutions and other governing structures to promote support and assist the normal development of this process. Nothing would stop us in building and pursuing our European future.

The negotiations for the Association and Stabilization Agreement that are expected to begin within autumn will have our primary attention as they make up the start of concrete and measured rapprochement process with the European Union.

The Albanian Diplomacy in cooperation with other actors will make maximal efforts to reach a wider consensus on the policies and ways to be pursued in the process of rapprochement with the EU, in order to successfully finalize this historical partnership endeavor with the European Union.

We aim to complete the negotiations for this agreement within an optimal time with the final view to opening the way for the implementation of the interim agreement and start the ratification process of this Agreement by all EU member countries.

We will also pay due attention to the Atlantic dimension of the integration process i.e. to full membership into NATO. This goal stems from the strategic importance of the North Atlantic Alliance to our national interests and to the peace and stability in the region. The regional cooperation policy constitutes another priority of our country’s diplomatic activity.

The frequent crises of the East European countries have repeatedly proved that our vision for a stable and peaceful region is right and endurable. Albania is today one of the countries that generates more stability in the region. Through a policy of moderation and collaboration, it is trying to offer a new model of cohabitation and integration to the peoples settled in this part of Europe.

The policy of integration with our neighbors, aims to go beyond the historical prejudices and problems, adopting a new philosophy of cooperation based on the well-known models which have inspired the Western countries in building their common future. This model has its own experience, which is first the experience of unity to overcome the divisions, and built upon the conjoint.

It is more than five decades ago, that the six founding members of what later became The European Community Union, turned their back once and for ever to the historic conflicts among them.

The genuine ideas of Monet and Schuman to join around the common economic interests, which would avoid a new conflict among old opposing parties, resulted to be the best investment, the most stable and fruitful one, which the today’s United Europe needed the most.

It is exactly this vision that the Albanian Diplomacy has put in the foundation of its regional foreign policy and aims to further develop the relations with the East Europe. It is the vision for a stabilized region, in peace and economic prosperity, an open and dynamic cooperative region, where no more crises but the best values are produced.

Our diplomatic activity will aim in finding new elements for the implementation of this regional policy firmly established on the principals of democracy, human rights and their output, on the bases of which stand free elections and democratic institutions; on the integrity of economy and on the desire to establish a new system of communication and cohabitation values in the region. What inspires us today that make up the grounds of our future plans are the Free Trade Agreements, which are known and proved as the best elements of growth and variety of exchanges as well as investments and production.

We will make continuous efforts to facilitate the free movement of people and goods and likewise we shall endeavor to abolish borders and limitations for the free movement commodities, services and capitals.

We pay special attention to the creation of a complete law framework and extension of the basic set of agreements which favor the economic trade cooperation such as the free trade agreements, those of the dual exempt of taxation, protection and promotion of investments, agreements in the field of transport, energy, environment, and introducing new and detailed elements to it. This will create the conditions to forecast in a near future the designing of common regional policies, which would stem from Regional Conventions signed by the countries on the Association and Stabilization process. We will also continue our efforts to the further extension and improvement of the physical infrastructure, making maximal and effective use of the specific cooperation Programs, which are under way, as well as of the entire dimensions of regional cooperation of the Stabilization and Association Process, also taking advantage from the projects in the framework of Stability Pact and Black Sea Economic Cooperation Process, including all inputs of cooperation with other countries.

In this context we will neglect nothing. It is well known that the huge projects that need considerable financing obviously have a great and visible impact. But at the same time it is true that smaller projects may have a great effect too. Thus, for instance, the construction of a bridge over Buna River, a relatively small investment, leads to a transformation in the communication of the two big tourist centers in both sides, Velipoja and Ulqin.

Therefore, the opening of a new border checking point, either in North or South, contributes to the communications or calms down the increasing pressure in these border points. It is clear that the political infrastructure, as well as the judicial and physical one will lead to complete development of our regional cooperation concept and vision.

Please allow me to reconsider and develop in more details this concept and its main components:

a. Our contribution for a European Kosova will continue to be the key priority and most important issue of the foreign policy.

The latest developments of the in Kosova have left behind the bitter memory of conflict caused by the Miloschevic’s regime policy, and have opened the way to the construction of a democratic and multiethnic Kosova.

The regulating framework international presence the relevant factors of Kosova society, especially the new self-governing institutions, have created the premises for a long normalization process of the country’s life and of the building of a multi ethnic democratic society.

The establishing and functioning of the self-governing institutions elected democratically by the people of Kosova is an important step to its further democratization.

We consider these developments in Kosova in compliance with democratization and integration developments in the region.

Two days ago, my colleague, Svilanovic, pointed out that the Kosova Status is no more an issue between Albania and Serbia. I totally agree with him.

The future of Kosova is primarily an issue of the democratic decision of its citizens in close cooperation with the international community,(UN, Security Council, EU,OSCE etc)which actually is absolutely involved and is investing in the overall transformation of the reality in Kosova.

It’s clear that Tirana and Belgrade can not be indifferent to this issue. They have the responsibility to promote facilitate and grow the cooperation between Albanians and Serbs in Kosova, so that it will not be the weakest point of Stability and Development in the region, but on the contrary a stabilized democratic and open area for Albania and Serbia as well.

We will engage to fully develop the intensive relations with the representative institutions in Kosova, by further promoting the collaboration in the fields of security, economy, fight against illegal trafficking the development of trade.

(We can mention here Memorandum of Understanding for Economic Cooperation signed time ago, our commitment and the implementation of other agreements in the future like the collaboration in the common fight against all kinds of trafficking and corruption, in the field of tourism, education and culture).

We are working on opening new border checking points to further facilitate the exchange of goods and the free movement of people on both sides of border.

Furthermore, we will continue working on the construction of the road Durres- Prishtina, the construction of power link Fierze-Prizren etc.

As part of international community and interested especially in the development and further consolidation of Democracy in Kosova, we believe that rigorous respect of the rules on the ways of communication and implementation of Agreements and acts signed with Kosova authorities that lead to consolidation of legal State, make up the solid grounds of European Kosova in construction.

b. Observing the developments in Macedonia and the long-term cooperation with this country occupy an important place in the new government’s regional policy. The moderate stand of our country during our eastern neighbor’s difficult moments is internationally recognized. The implementation of Ohrid Agreement as a necessity to come out of the interethnic conflict within the country is a historical imperative for the Macedonian political spectrum. The Albanian Government believes that the implementation of this agreement is a prerequisite for the maintenance of Macedonia’s internal stability and for its European future. The rigorous implementation of this historical agreement will strongly influence on the future political stability and democratizing processes of the country. The Albanian government hails the role of the Albanian political parties, their moderate attitude in finding solutions to their country’s problems and encourages them to continue this way of tolerance and political dialogue.

The parliamentary elections to be held in September make up a very important democratic test that will clearly determine the course of events in Macedonia. As so far, we will encourage all political factors in Macedonia and particularly the Albanian one, to follow the same track of Ohrid agreement. We wish these elections to produce more stability, escaping the tensions spotted in the past. We shall avoid any sporadic attempts of artificial tension which spoils the present election atmosphere and the further stabilization of Macedonia and in a wider framework the relations between the two countries.

c. The countries of our region have democratically elected governments. This reality is a huge qualitative step regarding the consolidation of new atmosphere of cooperation between our countries and to our point of view is irreversible. Thus taking into consideration this element the implementation of the long-term vision for the European integration, Albania’s stand favors the further promoting of the overall relations with Belgrade.

The Albanian Government believes that there are still unexplored areas of cooperation among our two countries in all fields such as economy, trade, tourism, education, culture etc. The upgrade of the diplomatic relations level between Tirana and Belgrade, recently announced, will be followed by the extension of joint regional agreements, initiatives and exchanges.

The long history of tension, lack of communication and open enmities often accompanied by trauma which could hardly be overcome between Albanians and Serbs, where the Milosevic regime was particularly distinguished for its anti-Albanian xenophobia, have naturally left their tracks in the collective awareness of Albanians and Serbs.

The traumatic events of 1999 and the forewarned prologue of Kosova saga needs no comment. However, what is important to be stressed today, is the new reality, spirit, approaches, people and the new ideas in the region. I have attentively observed all skeptical comments on the new position of our policy towards Serbia.

I have been alert to all those who still find it difficult to understand and accept why we are open, without complexes and ready to honestly cooperate with the new leaders in Belgrade. I would like to show them that this is not because we are not able to analyze the past. It is because we are convinced that we are investing for the future; for a different prospective that does not rely on “the political Balkan code”, but in a new philosophy like that of the European Union cradle.

Thus, devoid of any misunderstanding, assuring all those who think differently of the Albanian government, I wish to highlight once more on the same above mentioned spirit that the dialogue and our cooperation are attributes of democracy, and these are the principles that will triumph.

Following, pondering to bring an example, I would find it but in the history of the European Union foundation; in the relations built and developed between France and Germany after WWII. Those relations were established after decades and years of conflicts and pretensions of all kinds, including the territorial, forgetting thus the past and looking forward, denying the enmities and valuing the common interest to become an important and central factor for the EU development.

c. In this context, we are attaching special attention to the developments in Presheva valley, where the process of cooperation among the interethnic political factors will lead to the creation of the conditions for the further recognition and respect of the rights of the Albanians and other communities living there. It is beyond any doubt that the integration of the Albanians in all levels of the central and local administration as well as the respect of their rights will generate positive developments in the area, in Serbia and without doubt in the relations between the two countries. The signing of agreements in the field of education for the recognition by Belgrade of the diplomas of students from Presheva studying in Albania is an immediate priority of the new government.

d. The Albanian government upraises the high level of the present cooperation with Montenegro.

The opening of the new cross-border checkpoints makes possible the establishment of new connections and contacts between our countries and people. We aim at broadening this cooperation in other areas of mutual interest such as tourism, trade, infrastructure, energy etc.

Appreciating the decisive role that the Albanians of Montenegro have had in the last years for the development of democracy there, we will encourage the continuity in this direction demanding their full integration in all democratic institutions there. In this context our priority is to reach an agreement on the recognition of diplomas between Albania and Montenegro which will give integration possibilities to hundreds of Albanians in Montenegro.

The Stability Pact for Southeast Europe remains an important process in favor of overcoming conflicting inheritance in the region, the promotion of economic and social development, regional cooperation, peace and democracy.

Our objectives in the framework of the Stability Pact are in compliance with our will to rebuild the region where the universal Human Rights and Freedom, free movement of people, goods, capitals and cultures are sanctioned and implemented within The EU standards.

Some key issues in our bilateral relations with our main partners

The relations with the USA, our strategic alley, are progressing and developing in an excellent cooperation and understanding background. They are of great importance and occupy all our particular attention to a further development in the fields of politics, economy, security and defense, in the fight against terrorism and other valuable exchanges. We are convinced that this close cooperation will be a continuous support for the reforms and stability in the country. The deepening of the further cooperation in the fields of security, law and order, fight against illicit trafficking, implementation of law and the reforms in the justice system, are the key priorities which will be fulfilled through expanding and intensifying a number of mutual projects. Also, it is important to underline that harmonizing our regional policies with the long – term intentions of the USA in the Balkans will generate not only stability and greater security in Albania, but also in the other part of Southeast Europe.

Our relations with Italy are excellent. Italy, as one of Albania’s strategic partner, has made a great contribution to our country’s integration processes in the Euro-Atlantic family, and at the same time remains the main bilateral donor towards Albania. The attraction of the important and big Italian investors in the Albanian economy and particularly in the privatization of the strategic sectors constitutes an important direction for the development of bilateral relations that will be further promoted by the Albanian Government. At the same time, cooperation to strengthen fight against illicit trafficking, corruption and organized crime will occupy an important place in our Programme.

Our government will attach a special attention to the relations with Greece, which we do consider, of a strategic importance.

Greece is the only country in the region member of EU and NATO and where more than half a million Albanians are living. The cooperation with Greece is of great importance not only because of historical relations and its support to the democratic reforms in Albania, but also to our attempts for integration in EU and NATO.

The latest events in the border checkpoints with Greece makes us be more prepared and ready to act and forecast before hand similar situations coping with this increasing intensity of communication.

The mutual relations between Albania and other EU countries will strengthen and further developed in the future. The Albanians are aware that the EU and its member countries are of great importance and contribution to strengthening and consolidating democracy and the functioning of Albanians institutions.

The mutual relations with all EU countries are a natural part of our European Integration.

We believe that the present partnership with Germany has a special importance.

It is based on our common views towards the most important issues of foreign policy in general and the development in the region in particular.

A wider cooperation in the economic, security and defense field consist on a solid ground, which should be further developed in the future.

Our relations with Great Britain acknowledge the highest level ever known. We evaluate its regional policy and the concrete help it has offered to Albania in different fields, especially in that of security and the fight against organized crime. We are aware of the fact that we must intensify our efforts for a cooperation on the economic field thus increasing the presence of British investors and the extension of trade exchanges. We do hope that Great Britain will continue to encourage the integration of Albania in EU.

Our relations with France testify a strong consolidated historic background. We believe that making full use of all resources provided by the Friendship and Cooperation Treaty will further strengthen our present relations in the field of economy and culture, which extend in other fields as well. We appreciate the special interest that France shows for the stability and the democratic development in our region.

Within this framework, I could pay the same importance to the enlargement of our relations with Spain, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Belgium, Luxembourg and Ireland. We shall work with the same determination to extend and strengthen our relations with central and east Europe.

We consider as very important also the further strengthening of our very good traditional relations with Turkey, particularly the economic and defense cooperation. Evaluating the support that Turkey has given to Albania, we aim at further consolidation and extension of these relations, hoping that the well-known Albanian community there will make an increasing contribution. It is the right time to reconfirm the positive relations with Switzerland and Canada and also with Russia, China, Japan and other Asian countries, South America and Arab countries.

The Albanian diplomacy considers as very important the further development of the multilateral relations and its contribution as a member of the UN structures, OSCE, European Council and other regional organizations including the international organization of Francophony, as an important element in the cultural dialogue.

The role and presence of OSCE and European Council with their programs of democracy development in Albania are highly evaluated by the new government as active partnership factors with multilateral European Organizations where we are members.

II. Allow me to consider some other important issues, different but not less important in our diplomatic activity.

1.First, the necessity of an effective use of all our diplomatic activity to the good and service of the developments in the country.

It is well known that for any country the foreign policy is a natural direct reflection of the internal developments, the expression of the general development level and especially that of the political, economic, institutional and security one.

This is even truer for a country with the past like ours, where every thing had to restart over again. Albania lacks possibilities and following cannot allow herself to make diplomacy for the sake of classic diplomacy. In my opinion, our diplomacy, based on its experience, should serve to present quickly and effectively the new reality of Albania allover the world. Albania is actually a European country with its place and role in the international developments.

Also, it has its open market economy, which is developing rapidly to a more competitive economic context. Thus, the emphasis of the economic aspect in diplomacy is nothing but a pleonasm.

It is crucial that our diplomacy, within its responsibilities, further extend and strengthen contractual economic cooperation with other countries, promote the further cooperation through chambers of commerce and the public and private economic operators, provide daily information on the situation in Albania, its possibilities and opportunities and particularly the competitive advantages which are really considerable in Albania.

Our goal should be that in accordance with the evaluation and implementation of the support for development, to increase the economic and trade presence of foreigners in all fields and sectors of interest for the Albanian economy, enhancing this way the role of Albania as an important factor in the region, generating moderation, good understanding and cooperation.

It is very important to inform in real time without high expenses all the interested that they can highly benefit investing in Albania rather than somewhere else. Hence, despite the common means and the work of other agencies in the country, our representatives should make best use of information and communication technologies, Internet, specialized conferences etc.

To this end, the staff in the Ministry and our diplomatic representatives should be closer to the Albanian reality. This reflects a low knowledge level of the progress and difficulties in the reforms in different sectors within the country, the insufficient cooperation and links with the other part of central administration, lack of contacts with the local government, with a general mentality to be specialized and updated only for international relations, as well as the unsatisfactory coordination between the Ministry staff and that of our representations abroad. A situation like this is non-productive and should absolutely change as soon as possible.

2. Second, our important role to improve the image of the country. We are aware of our role, responsibilities and tasks and the place we have in the international community, but we should bear in mind the fact that the international relations are not static, they change, develop and revitalize constantly. This demands that our policy and reflection on our development plans and our internal developments respond to this global rhythm. The security in the country, the reform progress, the level of development in the justice system, the level of professionalism of the administration, legislation reform, the fight against illicit trafficking and corruption are an automatic reflection of our image in the world. In this regard, we had tracks of our ups and downs during this decade of transition, though often stereotypes that occur abroad do not correspond to the reality. This should be understood in its entirety, starting from the simplest elements of presentation to the capability, professionalism and knowledge of our diplomats.

In this context, attention is needed to increase of the Honorary Consuls network, not only in the countries where we currently are not accredited, but also in other countries, in regions and big cities where our interest require and justify such a presence.

The Albanian diplomacy should be more committed to the promotion of the wealth and tourist potential of our country. It is very important to establish an effective cooperation between the Ministry of Territory and Tourism and our diplomatic agents, working out a new consolidating concept of diplomacy to promote and advertise the Albanian tourism by strengthening our links and relations with countries with a developed tourist industry and establishing contacts with the main western tourist operators.

Albania owes all possibilities to aim being the third tourism destination in the Balkans as soon as possible. The figures of this season are a vivid proof in this direction.

It is just the time for a serious reflection and presentation of the Albanian culture in the world. As I mentioned above, Albania needs to deliver more information, since it suffers not only distortion of its image, but it is often an unknown country, particularly as refers to its cultural heritage and peculiarity. In this direction, we have a lot to present and maybe the time has come to open cultural centers in big countries which highly appreciate “Made in Albania” exports and where the presence of Albanians is greater and at the same time consumer and contributing like in Italy, Greece, France, Germany and the United States etc.

Activities like that organized in March in France called “Albania towards reaching the sun” are a good and direct way to present Albania and the Albanians to their true light and spiritual world.

3. The Albanians abroad are an important factor for the developments of the relations with the countries where they live.

Diaspora and emigration expanded in all continents consists of a colossal potential of human, intellectual and financial resources, which our diplomacy must work to direct them towards the benefit of Albania.

Albanian diplomacy will be fully committed to promote the multilateral involvement of Albanians abroad in the processes of the democratic reforms, economic development and the gradual approach of our country to the European family and it will also endeavor to strengthen of the relations with the countries they are living to.

Currently, a database is being established in all our representative offices for the students to know and involve them in cultural artistic activities and ceremonies as well as to inform them regularly about the events in Albania.

I would like to consider them as an informal part of Albania’s “image diplomacy” in the world. They have showed to be capable and competitive, but at the same time they are valuable potential of the abilities and needs of the country in different fields.

Likewise, more attention should be attached to different personalities of politics, science, art and culture of Diaspora, to promote their interest and mindfulness for their country.

I am also convinced that the business representatives of Diaspora need the same attention. It is our duty to approach and help them identify in the best way possible the facilities to invest in our country.

4. On the consular activity abroad. This is a delicate and very important aspect, since it should be more concrete and closer to the interests of a lot of Albanians living abroad especially in the Western Europe. The Albanian citizens should feel the support of their state and this right should be guaranteed. It is a fact that though we are making the best efforts, we are still away of being a state that protects and guarantees the dignity of its citizens abroad. We will continuously reconsider all our work practices to make the consular service quicker, effective and modern.

Thus, very soon we are to introduce the “fiscal stamps” in our consular service as a means to improve this service and avoid eventual abuses. It is crucial that in these service we start using the new information and communication technologies, which will make this service quicker and more functional.

5. We are committed to never stop trying to create an effective, reliable and professional diplomatic corps. A lot has been done but it improvement is still needed as regards the legislation and regulatory and particularly as regards the system of diplomatic career as a necessity to have a dedicated, capable and successful diplomacy. Diplomacy is a profession that needs special and valuable investment.

The dryness of the diplomatic corps over these recent years, which makes up a considerable loss, make us believe that there is still space for improvement, starting from the working conditions in general and avoiding thus the political influence and subjectivism.

In this direction, we are working and making the proper analysis and very soon will set up a working plan to identify what is needed to improve the diplomatic personnel, evaluating forms of individual work and abilities, implementing rigorously the system of diplomatic grades, recruiting and distributing an efficient personnel, structuring our diplomatic representations, giving the right priority, which I stress, should better meet our priorities and the dynamic development of the international relations.

Moreover, there is a lot to improve in the communication between our representations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. First, the Ministry should increase the information of primarily importance for the internal developments which will be the basis of information and work to our diplomats abroad. On the other side, our representations should be better involved in designing policies, stands and opinions related to the ongoing process of the relations with the countries where they work.

More profound, deeper and foreseeing analysis should be done, and this will in the limelight of the work of our representatives to make real the effective cooperation in the whole system.

The Ministry also plans to improve the quality of work. Among other, the whole concept of inter-institutional relations should be reviewed to attain a better, effective and faster coordination which makes up a necessity in diplomacy.

Diplomacy does not tolerate cacophony and even more discordance.

Likewise, the concept of periodical conferences shall be introduced, where our diplomatic corps, political representatives in the country and the civil society are invited to take part and periodically debate on different issues of foreign policy and international relations which is not only a form of decision taking for the politicians, but also form providing opinion for the interested.

Taking into consideration the peculiarities of the diplomatic activities and the current international relations, professional training of our diplomats in a multidimensional and competitive environment is a necessity. We will give priority to analyzing the most suitable and organized ways for the evaluation of the diplomats and their future career as well as for the inner training courses according to the needs.

Foreign Ministry, the central institutions and civil society possess indisputable resources and capacities which, I am convinced, would provide with pleasure their knowledge and expertise. Soon, a full and detailed platform including all these aspects as well as the system of diplomatic grades shall be prepared.

Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you have already frequently noticed, different comments in the country suggest that the Albanian diplomacy keep stands, undertake actions, declare and raise its voice for different issues. These comments become even harsher in undesirable and difficult moments and situations, although known in the international relations and around us as well. This is normal in democracy.

I want to assure everybody that without any doubt reciprocity is the basic principal in diplomacy including ours as well. This is the principle we follow and implement in the relations with the world in the whole aspects of our diplomatic activities.

But on the other hand, we all realize that reciprocity for us is not just a static and frozen definition. It means that it is flexible and dominated by the existing interest and realities, also in evolution and adaptability.

There are no big or small democracies in the world. They may be true or false. However, no one would forget that there are big or small economies, rich or poverty-stricken countries, countries of enormous potentials in various fields including the military, defense and security field. Also, there are countries with global responsibilities which make considerable contributions unlike others not possible to do it; there are countries providing support and others in need of such support.

Obviously, in the current organization of international relations, such factors should be taken into consideration from all countries, but of course, like I said before, this should be carried out respecting the fundamental principles that regulate in particular the relations among democracies and partners.

All countries have their role and responsibilities in the international arena. It is important that they make a contribution, even modest, in strengthening the relations among countries devoid of any dependency or inferiority. As it is pretty easy to mix up silence with lack of knowledge, the same easy we can confuse wisdom with passiveness, and thus short-term interests would overlap or displace essential and long term interests. A responsible diplomacy would never subdue to the impatience inducement, neither would it rush to pronounce the last word at the very beginning.

Distinguished Ambassadors,

Heads of diplomatic and consular missions,

These were some of the issues I wanted to share with you today. I am confident that your suggestions during these days of discussions will supplement at best them. Hence, I would like to encourage all of you to make a realistic analysis of our work. This meeting should be an important moment for designing our foreign policy and implementing our vision for the role of Albania in the international relations.

Thank You

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