Valued member of the North Atlantic Alliance

04-05 September 2014

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On Thursday, September 4, in Wales began the two-day NATO Summit. The summit was attended by high-level delegations from the 28 member countries of the North Atlantic Alliance. The Albanian delegation was headed by Prime Minister, Mr. Edi Rama, part of which was also the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Ditmir Bushati and the Minister of Defence Mrs. Mimi Kodheli.

The summit was opened by the NATO Secretary General, Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who noted that the summit will serve to strengthen the partnership between the Alliance in addressing common security challenges. On the first day of the summit, the situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan was discussed, and on the second day, the 28 leaders agreed to a Rapid Action Plan, to ensure that NATO is ready to face the new security challenges around the world.

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At the conclusion of the first day of the NATO Summit in Wales, Defence Minister Mimi Kodheli with the Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati, were invited at “Top Story” program by the journalist Sokol Balla. Full interview in this link.

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Defence Minister Kodheli meets the US Assistant Secretary of Defence, Derek Chollet

The Minister of Defence, Mrs. Mimi Kodheli, during the NATO Summit in Wales, held a meeting with Mr. Derek Chollet, Assistant Secretary of Defence of the USA for international security affairs. During the meeting issues of common interest were discussed, with special emphasis on the security challenges the international community is facing lately.
Minister Kodheli praised the fruitful cooperation in Defence with the United States considering it a serious partnership. She stressed that the fight against terrorism requires broad support and cooperation. Mrs. Kodheli ensured that Albania will be present as a worthy ally making its contribution.

Mr. Chollet thanked Minister Kodheli for the meeting and stressed the importance of the partnership with Albania. He expressed the United States’ high appreciation for the role and contribution that our country has made and is making in addressing security challenges, which have a major implication for the Euro-Atlantic area. The senior American official praised Albania’s involvement in the operation to support the Iraqi government, saying that Albania was among the first countries that responded to their call.

Minister Kodheli, during the Wales Summit, also met the Secretary of Defence, Mr. Chuck Hagel. He thanked Mrs. Kodheli for all the contribution made by Albania in times of crisis and global uncertainty.

The Defence Minister also met the Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry.

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NATO Summit in Wales concludes its proceedings

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bushati attended the meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of NATO member countries with Heads of International Organizations such as the EU, OSCE and Council of Europe, discussions focused on the cooperation between NATO and these organizations within the framework of facing current and future security challenges in the Euro-Atlantic space.
For more information click on the link of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: NATO Summit in Wales concludes its proceedings

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Wales Summit Declaration

(NATO Website link)

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Press Conference by Prime Minister Rama, following the closing of the NATO Summit in Wales

I would like to enumerate a few points that I consider very important, as the very first conclusions of this special Summit. First, I am proud because I believe that the work done by our delegation, which is in fact a culmination of the work done intensively in all these months in the new dynamics of our foreign policy, Albania emerges with a strengthened position.
But I believe that Albanians as well feel proud after this summit, in the sense that we are not only focused on Albania as a country and as a state, but on Albanians as a people, in a region where I believe we do not wrong anyone, if we feel the biggest investors of peace, with much effort, with many sacrifices, and with more conviction and willingness to join the big family of free and democratic countries through full integration in all branches of this family, including NATO.

On the other hand I believe also that, since it became very clear to all, as serious investors of peace and of multi-ethnic and multi-religious coexistence in the region, we have the right to demand more attention, more support, more cooperation from the big forces of the Alliance, both as forces involved in this Alliance, and as forces representing the major allies of Albania, the United States of America, European Union, but also the respective countries in bilateral relations.

These have been two very intense days. Particularly intense has been the open conversation during a working dinner behind closed doors, between heads of states and governments, where the emphasis was strongly put on the need to take forward the design of a sustainable response to the threats that are known and identified as such, but on the other hand it has been very important for us to emphasize the necessity of a consistent strategy and foresight that goes beyond today's threats. Because we believe that today, the free and democratic world is threatened by an extremely risky and highly structured strategy, to obfuscate and destroy it. It is a pretty clear clash, in front of which it is necessary for the whole world that the values and principles embodied by the Euro-Atlantic Alliance win.

I would like to highlight the fact that we are more than pleased with what we have had as a result for putting an emphasis in all issued, for a greater openness to other countries in the region, starting from Kosovo, for which we have asked to accelerate the process to a strategic partnership with NATO, and for which there was a very encouraging paragraph in the Summit conclusions.

On the other hand I have appealed, in the presence of all member countries, those countries that have not recognized Kosovo as an independent state yet, in order to recognize it, because now it is not anymore what it was until yesterday, but it is a matter of strategic importance and a matter of extraordinary importance for Europe's geopolitics, in order to put an end to the odyssey of the recognition of Kosovo within the countries of the European Union, and to give them a very clear message of the Albanians in Kosovo, but also to all those forces that try to find cracks to convey negative energies of the darkness with which they want to cover our vision for the future.

On the other hand we have strongly supported Montenegro, joining all those who think that Montenegro should receive an invitation for membership next year and we have emphasize that everyone should work together with more persistence and more intensely, to pave the way also for Macedonia but,

a) By pressuring the parties to resolve and put an end to the prolonged name odyssey;
b) By asking the government of Skopje to respect lock, stock and barrel the Ohrid Agreement.

We consider as a very important step to make, the fact that what I just said is underscored also in the conclusions of the Summit.

Of course I have not forgotten that in such cases my predecessor would do a parade of meetings done or hands shaken in the hallways. I will not do this parade, but I will pick out on one hand the conversation I had face to face with President Obama and thereafter, a structured meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry to address in more detail what we talked with the President. In addition, we had three bilateral meetings with strategic partners in the region, Prime Minister Renzi, Prime Minister Samaras and President Erdogan, therefore namely Italy, Greece and Turkey, to strengthen the strategic partnership and to jointly identify everything we need to do both in relation to our commitments within the framework of security, and in relation to anything else connects us.

To conclude and leave the floor to your questions, I want to say that once again it has been the case not only to highlight, but also to see the extraordinary impact of the initiative by Chancellor Merkel, who took a historic step for sitting together all representatives of the Balkan countries, by providing for all peoples in the Balkans a very clear message of their European perspective, but also by giving a very clear message for all allies and partners, in view of the perspective of these countries.

For Questions - Answers click on this link Prime Minister Website.



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