Serbian-Albanian relations key for regional stability
12. March 2010. | 08:32 08:54
Source: EMportal, Beta, Infobiro.tv
Serbian President Boris Tadic had talks in Belgrade on March 11 with Albanian Foreign Minister Ilir Meta about bilateral relations, stability and the region's integration into the European Union.Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ilir Meta started his official visit to Serbia by paying homage to the grave of the former Prime Minister of Serbia, Zoran Djindjic.
Serbian President Boris Tadic had talks in Belgrade on March 11 with Albanian Foreign Minister Ilir Meta about bilateral relations, stability and the region's integration into the European Union.
During the meeting, Tadic stressed the importance of the agreement on cooperation in the fight against organized crime, international illegal drug trafficking and international terrorism, which was to be signed by Serbia and Albania in the evening of March 11, the office of the Serbian president stated.
Despite the different opinions regarding the issue of Kosovo, the talks focused on the improvement of bilateral cooperation which, it was said in the statement of the Presidency, is at a low level, especially in the field of economy.
The Albanian minister met in the evening of March 11 with Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic, and the joint assessment of the two ministers was that relations between Albania and Serbia were key for the stability of the entire region, because of which the strengthening of mutual cooperation is necessary for the sake of a joint European future.
At a news conference, the two ministers stressed that the two countries had completely different stands regarding Kosovo, but also that there was much room for cooperation in all other fields.
"Regarding Kosovo our stands are completely opposed, but on the other hand we agreed that the future of the entire region is in the European Union," Meta said.
He added that he signed an agreement with Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic in Belgrade on March 11, on cooperation in the fight against organized crime, drug trafficking and international terrorism, and a protocol with Minister Jeremic about cooperation between the foreign ministries.
Minister Jeremic said he discussed with his Albanian counterpart the position of the Albanian minority in the Presevo Valley, as well as the position of the Serb minority in Albania, and expressed hope that these would be even better in the future.
"Serbia is strongly supporting visa liberalization for the Albanian citizens traveling in the EU, as well as its full EU membership," Jeremic said, adding that he was satisfied that the Albanian foreign minister visited Serbia for the first time.
The Albanian minister emphasized that he was coming at a time when the anniversary of the murder of former Premier Zoran Djindjic was being marked, whom, in his words, the Tirana government had respected highly because of his vision of good-neighborly relations.
First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Ivica Dacic met also with Albanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ilir Meta discussing about cooperation between Serbia and Albania regarding anti-terrorism, the fight against organised crime and drug trafficking.
Dacic and Meta also signed an agreement on cooperation in the fight against organised crime, international drug trafficking and international terrorism.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ilir Meta started his official visit to Serbia by paying homage to the grave of the former Prime Minister of Serbia, Zoran Djindjic. This homage coincides with the 7th Anniversary of Mr. Djindjic assassination.
During the homage, Mr. Meta was accompanied by the widower of the deceased, Mrs. Ruzica Djindjic and his spouse, Mrs. Monika Kryemadhi.
After paying homage, Mr. Meta made the following remarks for the media:
“It was an obligation for me to start this official visit in Belgrade by paying homage and tribute to the memory of the deceased Prime Minister, Mr. Zoran Djindic, here, in his final resting place.
Mr. Djindjic remains undoubtedly an inspiration, not only for democrats, the progressive and pro-European forces in Serbia, but in the whole region, since by virtue of his vision and his exceptional courage, Serbia is in a new stage of European integration and the whole process of integration to international community. It is thanks to this vision and courage that even relations between our two countries have advanced, although perhaps not to the extent that many like me would have wished for.
However, I express the confidence that these relations will witness an ever larger progress and shall be solid, since relations between Serbia and Albania are very important for the prospect of our region and the speeding up of its European integration; they are also very important for a sincere, solid and lasting reconciliation between Albanians and Serbs and also among Albanians and all Slavic peoples in the region, as a necessity to ensure a shared future for all the citizens of our region, regardless of ethnic affiliation. We bear a major responsibility for our future and for the future of our children.
I feel very much honored that Mrs. Ruzica Djindic joined us in this homage, despite her numerous engagements, since this period coincides with the 7th anniversary of the assassination of the deceased Serbian Prime Minister Djindjic. I believe that within this year we shall host an important event with the Djindjic Fund that she chairs in Albania and here, in Serbia, as well.
It is important to emphasize once again that the courage of this extraordinary politician, for which he paid an exceptionally heavy price, shall remain for ever inspiring, not only for all progressive forces here, but also throughout the region”
In the end of the ceremony of paying homage, Mr. Meta thanked Mrs. Djindjic for her presence there and invited her for a visit in Albania.