Further reform necessary in Albania,
says NATO Secretary General
The President of Albania, Bamir Topi, visited NATO Headquarters on 19
October to discuss with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
Albania’s reform process and its NATO membership aspirations.
Mr. De Hoop Scheffer said NATO members were looking at the reform process.
He stressed the importance of implementing reforms, including non-military
areas, and that Allies remain ready to help and assist Albania in this
“Further reforms are of great importance,” Mr. De Hoop Scheffer
told reporters, “The invitation tickets are not punched yet.”
Mr. Topi expressed his country’s determination to deepen reforms, including
in the electoral or the justice systems and to focus on the fight against
organised crime and corruption. He highlighted the necessity for all
the Albanian political forces to collaborate in these efforts.
The Secretary General praised Albania for its contribution to NATO’s
operations, including the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
in Afghanistan and the logistical support to the naval counter-terrorism
Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean Sea.
Albania is one of the three countries in the Membership Action Plan,
the NATO programme of advice, assistance and practical support tailored
to the individual needs of countries wishing to join the Alliance.
At the November 2006 Riga Summit, NATO Heads of State and Government
declared that the Alliance intends to extend further invitations to countries
that meet NATO standards to join NATO at the next Summit, in 2008