The Acting President Dr. Jakup Krasniqi meets the President of Albania Bamir Topi

Tirana, 14 January 2011- The Acting President of the Republic of Kosovo Dr. Jakup Krasniqi was received today by the President of the Republic of Albania Bamir Topi

This warm and friendly meeting between the Acting President of Kosovo Dr. Jakup Krasniqi and the President of the Republic of Albania Mr. Bamir Topi discussed cooperation between two countries, political situation in both countries and the much-debated report by Dick Marty, which will be subject to a review by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly.
Below you may read the transcript of the press conference held by President Topi and the Acting President of the Republic of Kosovo Dr. Jakup Krasniqi following the meeting.

President of Albania Mr. Bamir Topi:

It is a special pleasure for me to express once again my highest consideration for the high representative of Kosovo, the Acting President Mr. Krasniqi, with whom we had a warm discussion, a working and friendly discussion to share with each other issues of cooperation between our two countries, which are seeing new additional evolutions, to discuss political situation in both countries respectfully an, of course, the much-debated issue of Dick Marty’s report, which will also be subject to a review by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly.

Of course, the position of the Albanian state remains clear: first we encourage the Kosovo political leadership and institutions to establish, the constitutional institutions of Parliament, the Office of the President and the Government as soon as possible, so as to proceed with the project of reconstructing the new Kosovo, as a free, sovereign and independent state, and to make use of all g opportunities for cooperation in the region and beyond, be it in terms of composing a state in this line, be it in terms of ensuring new recognitions for Kosovo.

We have discussed the need for institutional and economic cooperation between our two states. There are more opportunities and there is a chance and sufficient room for our institutions, at all levels, to maintain this cooperation, because Albania, Kosovo are important contributors to peace in the region and cooperation between countries of the region, what serves as a clear indicator of the western profile of our two countries.

I have always mentioned during my conversations with international partners that the young state of Kosovo has indeed demonstrated a politics of maturity in the region, by increasing thus the chances of cooperating with countries that have recognised it and by also displaying a disposition to discuss technical issues with Serbia.

Of course, Serbia is a country of the Balkan region and it has demonstrated politically, at least declaratively, that it wants to be a part of cooperation and integration into the European family and perspective, but everything starts from the domestic policies and continues with regional cooperation and improvement of the standard, in order to be ready to be accepted in the European family, without prejudice or issues about relations in the past.

We wish to create a climate of regional cooperation based on the legitimate rights of each state, but also based on the requirements set by the EU and the Council of Europe and all international organisations that promote a policy of dialogue and cooperation.

In particular, we have focused on the need for our two countries to react institutionally and in a coordinated fashion at the Council of Europe against Dick Marty’s report.

The state of Albania and all its institutions have reacted on time, have expressed their official position, but, as you may know by now, I can say that we have had an evaluation of a report that does not rely on facts. We have certainly displayed the full willingness of all our institutions to be open and to conduct a new investigation, though these issues have been investigated before without a breakthrough.

Certainly, since there is a report by a member of a CE, and given the highest consideration for the Council of Europe, a member of which we are, we will prove that these so-called facts are completely inexistent.

Undoubtedly, we also encourage technical discussions between Kosovo and Serbia, always starting from the position of free and sovereign states. I personally believe that talks would be set in an appropriate terrain following the clarification of some issues that were artificially raised or supported by people who have been known traditionally for their positions against independence of Kosovo and who have procured false allegations aimed at distorting a given reality and failed to contribute to peace in the region. Only then will there be a chance for technical issues to be discussed.

My will and position as President of Republic of Albania is to settle things in an appropriate terrain and I call for the clarification of everything that has to do with the past of this martyrised people, for it is a task that appertains to the respective institutions and international institutions to reveal the truth, but, on the other hand, those who ask for dead facts, should be equally predisposed to ask for living facts, because a person qualified as war criminal like Ratko Mladic is still moving in their territory and I don’t know with or without permission, I don’t want to prejudge.

It is everybody’s duty to help fight the evil, bring criminals to the bench of international justice, have the souls of those who have fallen victims of genocide rest in peace and build a future for our countries, which have undoubtedly been projected clearly within the Euro-Atlantic perspective.

In this spirit of cooperation, in this spirit, we will cooperate, citizens and civilians. We will cooperate with everybody in the region, so that the Balkan region will bring to an end, once and for all, the ultranationalist rhetoric and interethnic battles for which the Balkan and our peoples have paid a high price, and to honour a politically calm and economically developed region at the service of a market with more than 50 million inhabitants.

This is the spirit that we follow. This is the spirit that we will follow together, based on arguments and rationality and by remaining open to cooperation. We call on those who possess facts to provide EULEX and International Court with them, so as to put all this at an institutional level, as required by international institutions.

This is our position. Once again Mr. Krasniqi, thank your for your visit and I encourage you in your important duty. Thank You!

A/President of Kosovo Dr. Jakup Krasniqi:

It was a pleasure for me and the delegation that I represent to have a hearty and brotherly meeting with President Topi, who has maintained over these years and still maintains a dignified stance not only for Albania, but for all Albanians, at the service of a policy of stability in our whole region.

We discussed today Kosovo, political developments in Kosovo and political developments for and about Kosovo in our continent. We are convinced that our two countries i.e. institutions of our two countries very much need to coordinate activities on many fronts and in the new reality that has been created in our region over the past ten years. Following the declaration of independence and construction of the national highway, opportunities have been created and we must make use of them, in order to boost cooperation between our two countries in fields of economy, education, trade and culture.

And of course, we need coordination not only in these fields, but we need to cooperate in order to improve coordination between the countries of the Balkan region and cooperation in terms of international relations. We consider Kosovo and Albania have many things in common and conditions are ripe for us to take advantage of these circumstances and advance economic development, democracy and diplomacies of our two countries in relation to the international community.

I am positive that these meetings will serve to enhance coordination in all fields of life and I trust Albania has a long tradition in diplomacy and that Kosovo will benefit from it.

Albania will indeed help Kosovo build a new image for both Albania and Kosovo and all Albanians.

We rest confident that the report by the Council of Europe Rapporteur constitutes a report initiated by certain circles that mind Kosovo, the state of Kosovo, the development of democracy in Kosovo, but, most apparently, certain circles mind Albanians in general.
Therefore, Albanians in our region are obliged to intensify cooperation, so as to confront all anti-Albanian circles, all anti-democratic circles together, because, all and all, Albanians in both Kosovo and Albania are committed to European values and we regret seeing representatives of countries that take pride in European values attack unjustly the progress made by Kosovo and the Albanian people in general.

I believe we will respond to these malicious attacks against the progress made in our region and in Kosovo in particular jointly and in an institutional manner.

Thank your for your attention.

Question 1: You noted correctly that there are attempts to undermine the highest values of the Albanian morals through Dick Marty’s report also. These are references made by circles already known historically, but there is fragility in the Albanian political scene recently, be it in Albania or in Kosovo, such as deals in state offices or frail elections in Kosovo. Do you think Albanian society is facing a crisis? Is it running the risk of descending into a deep moral crisis? Where do see a way out of this situation?

A/President Dr. Jakup Krasniqi: Mr.  Bajrami, as long as the fourth branch of power i.e. the media are able to spot shortcomings of Albanian politics and its fragility, I don’t believe this represents a defect in the Albanian society. It may be a partial shortcoming of the politics, but it is no way a shortcoming of the Albanian society. Finally, you, the media, are a part of the Albanian society as well and I consider that the Albanian society is all right, but there are individuals, and individual or group issues should never be associated to all Albanians or Albanian society in general.

Question 2: Will Dick Marty’s report and delays in elections in Kosovo affect the creation of the Negotiating Team with Serbia?

A/President Dr. Jakup Krasniqi: I don’t want to believe that the Council of Europe Rapporteur has had a stronger impact upon the domestic or European public opinion than upon the EU decision-making bodies, upon professional institutions that are responsible for considering the fact that issues that Dick Marty has raised have been investigated before and that the Hague International Court was compelled to withdraw because of the lack of facts and evidence that the court has needed.

I can not prejudge the degree to which the report may have affected potential technical talks between Kosovo and Serbia, but I would rather say that Kosovo is reaching the final stages of general elections and that we are waiting for a final answer from independent election bodies, which will be followed by the establishment of the Assembly and other institutions that derive from the Assembly and a situation when we will have new institutions in Kosovo and perhaps a reflection of certain European institutions. At no stage whatsoever have we been against talks and we are positive that these talks are for the best of both our countries. These talks can and will take place provided they are in the interest of both countries and provided they are in the interest of Albanians who live in Serbia and Serbs who live in Kosovo. If someone attempts to direct these talks so as to have only one of the parties win, the talks will become complicated, and the Kosovar side is not ready to enter new deals or lose or undermine the progress that it has made over the past decade.

Question 3: Mr.  President, do you believe that elections will be certified by the end of March or that, as provided by law, the country will enter early elections? Is Kosovo ready for new elections?

A/President Dr. Jakup Krasniqi: Though I believe we have talked about elections enough, I want to point out that the elections circle that has was commenced on 12 December 2010 will be closed following the 23 January elections to be held in Mitrovica. Rather than in March, I expect elections will be certified during the first ten days of February and that the Assembly of Kosovo and the Government will be established and the President will be elected in the beginning of March.