Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Albania voices commitment to Stability Pact, calls for Kosovo's independence

Text of report in English by Albanian news agency ATA

Tirana, 31 May: "Albania is totally committed to the Stability Pact", Deputy Foreign Minister Edit Harxhi said during the proceedings of the Eleven Stability Pact meeting. The meeting, which held its proceedings in Belgrade, was attended by top officials from the region, the European Commission and the donor countries.

According to an announcement on Wednesday [31 May] of the Foreign Ministry, Harxhi in her speech "supported the initiatives taken for putting regional responsibilities in the limelight in the activities of initiatives and regional processes and the need of strengthening the coordinative role of the pact, with intention to avoid duplications and the superposition of the activities of regional multilateral initiatives".

Speaking on Kosova [Kosovo] issue, Harxhi said: "Albania hails the Stability Pact's initiative to include Kosova in its projects as a partner with equal rights in the region and wishes these initiatives proceed even in the future." In regard to Kosova's status, Harxhi stressed that "the independence will not only stabilize the region further, but it will also ensure long-term peace, security and total cooperation in the region".

The participants in the meeting confirmed the European perspective of the region, determining the integration into the EU as the final goal. One of the topics where the meeting focused was the future of Stability Pact responding to new developments in the region. The participants stressed the need for the continuation of the process of taking greater responsibilities from the countries of the region and the gradual passage of the Stability Pact into a mechanism of greater regional profile. The meeting determined the need of focusing regional cooperation on some main fields, such as economic and social development, infrastructure, justice and internal issues, cooperation in the field of security and building up of human capacities.

The regional meeting decided the setting up of the Council of Regional Cooperation, which will assume the responsibilities of the regional meeting and of the pact's working meetings at the beginning of 2008. The meeting acknowledged the considerable progress in the integration of Kosova into regional activities and extended a call for the strengthening of this connection in the future.

Source: ATA news agency, Tirana, in English 1712 gmt 31 May 06

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