Foreign Minister Besnik Mustafaj declared yesterday that the future of Kosovo lies with the settlement of its status. Responding to a question on this issue, Mustafaj said that there can be no other future for Kosovo but its independence. "The format of this independence remains to be negotiated by the legitimate authorities and the international community," he said.
Asked by Socialist Deputy Arta Dade about his views on the solution of the problem regarding the economic rights of the Tchams [ethnic Albanians once living in northern Greece], Foreign Minister Mustafaj said that he had already made his views public. "During the last four years when Arta Dade was foreign minister and a member of the [Assembly] foreign commission, she had the chance to become familiar with my views regarding how to resolve the problem of the Tchams' economic rights," he said.
Mustafaj was also asked yesterday about the possibility of increasing the budget for Albanian diplomats working abroad. The foreign minister explained that Albania has currently 43 missions, including 31 embassies, abroad and that it spends 12m dollars for its diplomatic corps. He said that the current budget was a good basis for restructuring the allocations of this fund. Mustafaj also said that Albania would open embassies in Japan and other countries. "On this basis, we will persist in two directions, improving the treatment of the diplomats and making a redistribution of our diplomatic missions," Mustafaj said.
The Democrat diplomat also responded to a question about Albania's position on two projects proposed for reforms in the [UN] Security Council. "We think that Germany and Italy are two countries of strategic importance. Our position will be in accordance with our interests. We also think that there should be no divisions in the UN and, therefore, we will support a consensus version. We are convinced however that the Security Council should undergo reforms," he said.
Source: Shekulli, Tirana, in Albanian 10 Sep 05 p 5