Text of report by Albanian newspaper Shekulli on 19 October
Prime Minister Sali Berisha has toned down his stand on Kosova's [Kosovo] independence. While on a visit to Montenegro, where an international meeting on the conservation of Shkoder Lake is taking place, he presented his latest stand on the issue of Kosova's independence at a meeting he had with Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic.
According to a press release from the Prime Minister's Office, Berisha said that the Albanian government held that the Kosova issue should be resolved in accordance with the will of the Kosova people and in cooperation with the Contact Group.
The Albanian prime minister also stressed that guaranteeing the rights and freedom of the ethnic Serbian and other minorities as well as the Prishtina [Pristina]-Belgrade dialogue were of particular importance. The two interlocutors seem to have been in agreement on this point.
According to Deutsche Welle , for his part, Djukanovic said, "I voiced our desire to the effect that, according to the planned dynamics, the problem of Kosova's status should be settled through a Belgrade-Prishtina dialogue and with the mediation of the international community at the end of this year or in the middle of next year."
Djukanovic added that next spring, Podgorica intended to hold a referendum about the state status of Montenegro.
At his meeting with Berisha, there was also a discussion about deepening cooperation between the two countries. The two heads of government agreed to step up joint efforts in the struggle against organized crime.
The Albanian prime minister expounded his opinion about broader and more efficient coordination of the work of the law-enforcement institutions in the context of this struggle.
Berisha also said that cooperation in the field of tourism could be improved, enabling tourists to visit both countries on the same trip. Likewise, Albania and Montenegro could also support each other by integrating the energy system at a regional level.
Speaking about the infrastructure that links the two counties, Berisha termed the current road "a symbol of past relations," adding that this road should be improved as soon as possible to enable normal transport between Albania and its northern neighbour.
Appraising Montenegro's cooperation with Albania, Djukanovic stressed that it was a positive example of cross-border relations for the whole region.
At a dinner the Montenegrin prime minister gave in honour of Prime Minister Berisha there were also representatives of the Albanian political parties in Montenegro. There was a discussion of the rights of ethnic minorities both in Montenegro and the region in general.
Yesterday morning the two prime ministers attended the inauguration of a regional seminar sponsored by UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and the World Wildlife Fund.
Source: Shekulli, Tirana, in Albanian 19 Oct 05 p 4