PRESIDENT JAHJAGA’S SPEECH AT THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA

I have the honour and the pleasure to today, as the President of the Republic of Kosovo, address the Parliament of the Republic of Albania, the state with which we have so much in common; common history of suffering and longitude, survival challenges, plenty of emotions and so much love. Above all, lots of pride for victories which we have achieved together.

Honourable President Nishani,
Honourable Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Albania, Mr. Meta
Honourable Members of Parliament,
Honourable Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen
 

I have the honour and the pleasure to today, as the President of the Republic of Kosovo, address the Parliament of the Republic of Albania, the state with which we have so much in common; common history of suffering and longitude, survival challenges, plenty of emotions and so much love. Above all, lots of pride for victories which we have achieved together.
 
Today, at this historic place, I have brought to you the gratitude of the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo, because their Albania, your Albania, our Albania, for a century has kept alive their dream of liberty and independence, the dream of an independent state, a modern and a democratic one. Even today Albania continues to help us enliven this dream.
 
Albania was and remains present in the minds of every single Kosovar. This was a historic memory and an experience which has shaped us, has made us what we are today. Some of my first childhood memories are full of episodes in which family members would run from one corner of the room to the other to get a better reception of the radio waves of Radio Tirana, of improvised antennas which would help bring a blurred view of Albania on our TV screens. Of books which were passed hand to hand, which we would hide any where we could during the darkness of the night.
 
For many years we had no opportunity to get to know each other, and the first contact happened during the both darkest and most glorious time of Kosovo, when we were forced to turn our backs to motherland. When your homes became our homes too.
 
And now, not so long after that occurrence, I find myself relying for advice on your President, on hundreds of officials and diplomats, who are an irreplaceable part of our endeavours to consolidate Kosovo on the international arena, to make Kosovo  master of its own fate. A right won with lots of sacrifice and toil.
 
Without Albania, Kosovo would have never become what it is today. Without Kosovo, Albania would not have been this either.

From the very bottom of my heart, thank you!
 
Honourable Members of Parliament,
 
Today we meet at another historic moment, which challenges us to look towards the future. As never before, our achievements on both sides of the border are exceptional.
 
The twentieth century begun with making of Albania a state, and ended with the liberation of Kosovo.
 
After a century of endeavours, Albania and Kosovo stand side by side as independent states, but conjoined in our common aim to become an inseparable part of united Europe and to find solutions to all our problems inherited during the historic process which, both us and yourselves have gone through.
 
As never before in the history of Balkans, we aligned together not only due to brotherly connections or ethnic, national and cultural relations, but due to the desire to embrace common values which we share with the West, with the United States of America, as part of alliances which inspired us to aim for freedom and which helped us to gain peace and to be optimistic about our future.
 
We did not remain slaves to history, but are walking ahead, as two sovereign and independent states.
 
I find myself in Tirana as a representative of a young but dynamic state, a boisterous state which is speedily and surely becoming a factor of stability and a serious partner in the region and beyond. Kosovo guarantees to its citizens- irrespective of their size or ethnicity- equal rights; and more importantly, rights for which we have fought for for decades, we shall not deny them to anyone.
 
It is important to us that in the State of Kosovo, Kosovo is a home to everyone. We want to establish in Kosovo a society upon a social contract with the citizen, of privileges and responsibilities, where people join in love of their country, loyal and proud of its successes, where citizens are free to loudly say who they are. Albanians and Kosovars; because these two identities do not exclude one another.
 
I find myself being amazed with the progress that Albania has made as a state, particularly with its economic resurgence and utilization of endless resources it has. I behest that EU orientation of all political parties, both governing and opposition ones, as Albania’s strategic aim, becomes a platform which unifies the political spectre towards a constructive debate leading to achievement of this target.
 
I find joy in general awareness in the region of the fact, that peace shall ensure stability and economic wellbeing for our countries and our citizens. That cooperation is not just a standard to be achieved for the sake of our membership in European Union, but a necessity for long term stability, for a proper democracy.
 
Of course, all this optimism related to the potential and our future does not conceal the real challenges which both our countries face. While we ended last century with substantial endeavours and challenges towards building of our states, this century should serve us to transform our states into modern states, where rule of law and order reigns. Our citizens must sense and feel the security guaranteed by a democratic order, an independent judiciary, and a policy which represents their interests.
 
We cannot afford to lose the chance to make our countries places in which the coming generations can make their dreams come true.
 
Clearly determined ambitions of our states cannot remain unachieved. Because, we shall be appraised by the values which we establish. We shall be judged for the ideals we are building- as states of law.
 
It is the high time for our states to become dignified to live in, with economic and political viability, which ensure regeneration of values and which bring to end the corrupt practices of the past that might hold back our states and criminalize the society.
 
Honourable Members of Parliament,
 
The bond between our states is unbreakable. It is historic, ethnic, cultural, principled, and it should never be relying on symbols alone. For this reason, I call for expansion of cooperation between Albania and Kosovo, particularly in the fields of economy and culture, in which we need a more open communication.
 
Kosovo has no greater partner than Albania in the region, and this partnership must reflect the removal of bureaucratic barriers and opportunity for our businesses to develop free market economy, with fair competition and just treatment. Let us open the doors to writers and artists, lets encourage them to help us cast away the prejudices and to get to know and understand each other better. Let us emancipate our societies to be competitive in the innovation led age, as free people who are aware of their role in building of a proper democracy.
 
Together we have faced many challenges, and one of them by now surpasses our borders. In these times of great insecurity, as part of the world which still lives in the shade of Cold War bipolarity, of battles to become free of dictatorships, of unconventional threats from individuals and groups with shady connections in different corners of the world, as crossroad where many different interests cross paths, we have an important role to play in prevention and fighting of global terrorism, of extremism and organised crime.
 
As two states which have placed universal values- human rights and guarantees for their protection- on the foundation of their respective statehoods, and in case of Kosovo in its constitution as well, we have aligned ourselves on the right side of history. We must remain firm and unshaken in this battle and must continue to demonstrate regional leadership, in order not to allow the dark forces of extremism to indoctrinate our youth with terrorist causes. 
 
Albania is providing an example of the inter-faith harmony to the world, and Kosovo is also doing a great job in this direction.
 
Honourable President Nishani,
Speaker Meta,
Members of Parliament,
Dear citizens,
Each beginning is a tough one, and this ours in laying of the foundations of the Republic of Kosovo was no different. Kosovo has endured great sufferings and you all know this very well. But its citizens are now becoming strong and are moving ahead with an inspiring dynamism. For me as President, there is no greater pride and privilege than to represent this vision and to share with you and with the world the history of this hope instilling country.
 
You, citizens of Albania, have been an inseparable part of this success story.
Thank you very much!