Presidents of Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo meet in Vlora

“The Republic of Kosovo is a democratic state that belongs to its equal citizens, regardless of their ethnicity or religion, and that retains its commitment to neighbourliness and close cooperation with all the countries of the region” – Republic of Kosovo’s President, Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu, said at a meeting today in Vlora with his counterparts from Albania, Montenegro and Macedonia, presidents Bamir Topi, Filip Vujanović and Gjorgje Ivanov. President Sejdiu reiterated this position during individual meetings that he had with presidents Topi, Vujanović and Ivanov as well.

Topi: Kosovo leadership is showing an admirable political prudence and maturity

“I have always praised your role and the role that Republic of Kosovo’s institutions and government have played a year after the adoption of Constitution and a year and a half after the declaration of Kosovo’s independence” – the President of the Republic of Albania, Dr. Bamir Topi, said in a meeting with President Sejdiu today.

“You are showing prudence, pragmatism and modernity in your leadership and this is what I keep telling to all your statesmen that I meet” - President Topi said, adding that the Kosovo leadership is showing an admirable political prudence and maturity. He considered the meeting of presidents of the region in Vlora highly important, for he maintained it conveys a strong message that our countries are entering a new era of cooperation. In addition to this, President Topi expressed his unreserved support to President Sejdiu’s idea that Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Montenegro should apply a system of an uninhibited movement of goods and people, by liberalizing the boundaries and removing the passport check-ups along boundary points.

Regarding relations between the two countries, President Topi said that, from no on, Albania and Kosovo will only see progress. He maintained that Durres-Pristina highway will advance the exchanges between Albania and Kosovo in all fields of life.

“This road is a proof of an enormous work that was done in recent years and of radical changes that were made” – President Topi said.

Thanking President Topi for the invitation, President Sejdiu reiterated that Kosovo enjoyed Albania’s support in every process. He expressed his appreciation for the highly constructive role that President Topi and the institutional and political spectrum in Albania have and are still playing in supporting the overall development of the region.

On the other hand, speaking about Durres-Pristina highway, President Sejdiu said it will undoubtedly boost the economic growth of Albania, Kosovo and entire region.

In this meeting as well, President Sejdiu said that this part of Europe should provide a strong proof that it is ready to set its pace in moving forward toward integration into the South-East Europe community, by liberalising the movement of its citizens, by enhancing the economic cooperation and by increasing trade exchanges.

Kosovo and Macedonia have many things in common

The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu, served the idea of liberalisation of the movement of citizens and creation of a passport-free zone in the near future to its Macedonian counterpart,  Mr. Gjorgje Ivanov, as well.

“We have many things in common that relate to our history and we also share the ambition to accede to European Union, NATO and other international institutions” –President Sejdiu said during his meeting with President Ivanov.

To us, - President Sejdiu continued – it is important to demonstrate, as a region, our commitment to cooperation and neighbourly relations. Besides liberalisation of boundaries, President Sejdiu highlighted the necessity to improve the regional cooperation and to prevent and fight against the negative phenomena that may occur in our countries, laying a special emphasis on organised crime.

“The Republic of Kosovo always has and will continue to see a strategic partner in Macedonia” - President Sejdiu noted.

In the same spirit, President Ivanov affirmed that his country is resolved to strengthen the cooperation with the Republic of Kosovo.

“We are positive that our governments will provide for a final resolution to the boundary issue, what would enable us to proceed with establishing bilateral relations, which is in our common interest” – President Ivanov said.
President Sejdiu dhe President Ivanov reiterated that it is crucial for both countries to overcome the recent misunderstandings between Skopje and Pristina and that the entire region should focus on accomplishing the mutual objective of integration into Euro-Atlantic community as soon as possible.

Vujanović: Montenegro acknowledges Kosovo’s efforts for peace and stability in the region

In the meeting with the President of the Republic of Montenegro, Mr. Filip Vujanović, President Sejdiu reconfirmed the commitment of Kosovo’s institutions and citizens to create an example of cooperation, not only with Albania, Montenegro and Macedonia, but with all the countries of the region.

“Montenegrin experience in transition and building of democratic institutions may serve as a good model to other countries” – President Sejdiu said, asserting Pristina’s strong commitment to retain and foster the spirit of neighbourliness between the two countries.

“Like with other countries, we want to have good relations with Serbia as well, but we insist that Belgrade should distance itself from policies that produce tensions in the neighbouring countries” - President Sejdiu said, adding that Belgrade’s investment in sustaining and financing the parallel structures in Kosovo, especially in the north, is very harmful and puts the future of both Albanian majority and minority communities in danger.

In terms of relations with Montenegro, President Sejdiu said that these relations are very good and that more positive developments are expected soon.

On the other hand, the Montenegrin President, Mr. Filip Vujanović, said that Montenegro and Kosovo will keep on cooperating as two independent states.

“Montenegro is a friend to Kosovo, and Montenegrin people are friends to the people of Kosovo!” - President Vujanović said, expressing his appreciation for the engagement of Kosovo’s institutions so far in improving their citizens’ standard of living and in enhancing the level of security and cooperation in the region.

During this meeting, he urged Kosovo’s institutions to reassess the treatment that the Montenegrins receive in the Republic of Kosovo and to deal with the issue of the people displaced from Kosovo, who are currently living in Montenegro.

Commenting on President Vujanović’s interest, President Sejdiu said that he has already appointed a Kosovo Montenegrin representative as a member of the Consultative Council for Communities, in order to assist directly in the advancement of their position. Concerning the displaced, he said that the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo are resolved to provide all the citizens, regardless of their background, with the opportunity to return and live in their homeland, in Kosovo.

Tomorrow, the four presidents will have another joint meeting. Soon after the meeting, they will hold a joint press conference. In the afternoon, President Sejdiu will meet the Prime Minister of Albania, Mr. Sali Berisha, in Tirana.