H.E. Mrs. Arta Dade
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania
at the EAPC Foreign Ministers Meeting
Lord Roberstson, Secretary General
The institutional co-operation we established ten years ago through then
North Atlantic Council of Co-operation (NACC), today Euro Atlantic Partnership
Council reflected one of the greatest changes in the recent history of
To be frank, at that time we thought that once done with the evil of
communism, times ahead would have been easier, with less threats and harder
work in order to establish solid democracies and flourishing market economies.
Ten years latter we are perfectly aware that this was not the case. Not
only hard work was required internally in all of our nations, we also
had to cope with old and new evils, both remnants of the past times, but
also monstrous organizations that demand their views be imposed on us,
on our values and way of life as the horrific events of the 11 of September
this year demonstrated.
Since day one, Albania considered the attacks against US as an attack
against values it stands for. Yet convinced that words are not enough,
Albania aligned itself with the world coalition against terror. For this
purpose we offered the use of our military infrastructure and made available
500 special troops for possible use in potential operations if need be.
Internally, measures are being strengthened in order to guarantee an
effective participation in the world-wide fight against terrorism.
Allow me to briefly outline some of the measures taken to this end from
the Republic of Albania in the framework of the action against terrorism.
The Albanian Parliament adopted soon after the terrorist attacks a platform
as member of the international alliance against terrorism. On the basis
of this platform the Albanian Parliament will closely follow the fight
against international terrorism in all its complexity, political, juridical,
military and economic aspects.
The Albanian Government is committed to maximally increase its efforts
to strengthen the Albania's border control.
The Bank of Albania and Ministry of Finance are in charge of exercising
continuos control, in order to identify and prevent depositing, circulating,
or transferring money by the foundations or individuals financing the
We are perfectly aware that terrorism comes associated with other phenomena,
that were until recently considered as "soft security threats".
Organised crime and illegal trafficking serve terrorism directly or indirectly.
It is for this reason that fight against them assumes a special importance
under the new circumstances. Fighting those threats nationally is a must
nations that aspire freedom and democracy. Yet this is not enough. A close
co-operation is needed regionally as well as world-wide. The recent meeting
of the Public Order Ministers of South East Europe Co-operation Process,
recently held in Tirana confirmed this.
Integration in Euro Atlantic institutions remains a strategic objective
for the Albanian Government.
As we have begun the Third cycle of MAP process and the Prague Summit
is approaching we are to intensify our efforts at the expectation that
this Summit will further confirm the "open doors" policy of
the Alliance. We believe that the
synergy that exists between our internal reforms and our efforts for NATO
membership will bring about the much-awaited results.
Finally on a regional context let me shortly address some of the most
important elements: This year Albania chairs the South East Europe Cooperation
Process and in this capacityf we have made regional and Euro-Atlantic
integration a priority.
Kosovo will continue to be a priority of the foreign policy of Albanian
With this regard, we have greeted the calm and democratic way in which
general elections took place here. Albania expects all the political
forces in Kosovo, Albanians and all other minorities included, to intensively
engage in the democratic institution building process. They must be convinced
that this is the only way that would lead Kosovo forward and make it part
of the European family.
The FYROM crisis represent another hotbed in the region. The signing
of the Ohrid Agreement is a basic on which further progress can be made
on the road of long term and stable peace, stability, democracy and co-existence.
Albania has expressed the support for the protection of the integrity
and sovereignty of this country. The Albanian Government thinks that NATO's
presence in FYROM is a long term guarantee that helps to unblock the political
process and reinforce peace and security on the ground.
Albania's relations with Yugoslavia constitute another important direction
of our diplomacy. Strengthening of those relations will have a positive
impact in the promotion of peace and security in the entire South East