Representing the 2017 OSCE Chairmanship, Austrian Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Linhart visited Tirana on Wednesday, highlighting the pivotal role the OSCE Presence in Albania plays in supporting the country’s reform process. Borchardt spoke about Albania’s constructive role in fostering regional co-operation, inclùding the recent yoùth exchange initiatives co-organized by Albanian authorities and the OSCE Presence. The OSCE Presence has been active in Albania since 1997. The current mandate of the Presence is to assist Albania in developing effective democratic institùtions and to promote the role of law and hùman rights in line with the priorities of the country. It does this through a variety of legal and administrative reform initiatives; activities aimed at fighting corruption and trafficking; and programmes to develop the country’s media, support civil society, and train police and customs officials.
The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bushati hosted on Thùrsday the European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Membership Negotiations, Johannes Hahn in the framework of his official visit to Tirana. Referring to this visit the minister stated that it comes in a highly important moment for Albania on view of the fact that Albania has already launched the vetting process. He also informed the commissioner Hahn about the concrete steps undertaken by the Albanian government in order to meet all accession priorities while confirming the determination for further progress in this aspect. Commissioner Hahn commended Albania’s stable progress in the implementation of key priorities for the opening of accession negotiations. He praised in particular the judicial reform adoption, emphasizing at the same time the importance of its implementation as a key element for the consolidation of the rule of law in Albania.
A suspicious briefcase found near the US embassy in Tirana the police declared that the bomb alert was a fake. The discovery of a seemingly forgotten briefcase in proximity of the embassy walls on Friday alarmed the police. The bomb alert near the US Embassy followed by only few days a strong declaration of the US Ambassador Donald Lu for the crimes dominance in Albania.
Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has talked with his Albanian counterpart Edi Rama on the telephone. Borissov said Bulgaria insists that Tirana should guarantee the rights of the Bulgarian national minority in line with the international legal standards. The conversation was prompted by a bill aimed to protect the minorities’ rights drafted by the Albanian government. Borissov said he expected the legislation to include provisions protecting the rights of the Bulgarian minority. Rama assured the Bulgarian Prime Minister that the bill was still under preparation, and pledged that his country would not infringe on the interests of the Bulgarian minority. He stressed that communication with Bulgaria would continue so that the Bulgarians’ interests in Albania would be protected. Andon Donchev MP of the Volya party read out a declaration in Parliament urging that the cause of Bulgarians in Albania become a real priority of the State and one of the top policies during Bulgaria’s EU Council Presidency in the first half of 2018. He said that different sources put the number of people of Bulgarian origin in Albania in the range of 50,000 to 100,000.
The first vice prime minister and foreign minister of Kosovo Piccoli paid his first visit to Tirana home Thursday after his appointment in this office and was received in a meeting by this counterpart Ditmir Bushati considering Pacolli’s a clear signal decision of close political and fraternal cooperation between the two governments. The two officials discuss it the need to rationalize forces, human resources in diplomatic and consular representation. First Minister Bushati reconfirmed Albinia’s support to hold the processes that Kosovo is passing through and especially in advancing recognition of memberships in the international forums, cooperation with the NATO and European Union.