The political and economic transition phase hasn’t been completely over in Albania. The reforms have worked but we haven’t achieved yet what we expected. The obstacles are not only technical but psychological and political. The transition from a totalitarian regime to a pluralistic democracy implies a change of mind. Albania is located in a zone of conflicts which caused the fall of the former Yugoslavia and this makes us fragile. But we have more succeeding chances now because the region is working on peace and stability. Albania is known as a transit country for all kind of traffic between the East and the West but we have created a special jurisdiction and this kind of crime has been reduced. We are determined to put an end to the traffic with Italy. Soon, the electoral campaign for the legislative elections will begin and, for us, these elections represent the hope for the Euro Atlantic integration. We are expecting an invitation to join NATO in the next two years and conclude the association agreement with the European Union.
We can’t forget what happened in Kosovo every time we deal with dictators or with ultranationalist projects against other ethnic groups. During WWII, the governments of Albania and Yugoslavia signed a pact of association in case of aggression as long as the Kosovo problem was solved by a referendum. The war is over, Albania and Yugoslavia, and along with it Kosovo, were liberated and the promise has not been respected. Half a century passed before understanding that the project to maintain Kosovo by means of force and repression was a mistake. Kosovo is today an example of the victory of the Good over the Evil, of peace over war. The historical changes provoked by NATO under the command of the United States ended a war, genocide against innocent people and brought about stability. NATO’s actions prevented a humanitarian catastrophe in Europe, the eviction of 60% of the population of the region and the important danger of a generalized conflict. We express our gratitude to Yeltsin for his comprehension regarding NATO’s intervention.
We think that the delay in finding a solution to the Kosovar problem is a open space for the extremists of both sides. We welcome the North Americans’ and the European Union’s last statements about the impossibility of going back to the 1999 statute and divide Kosovo to join it to another State. The Albanian government and the Albanian people of the region do not want to establish a great Albania that would cause the dismemberment of the neighboring countries. Our history is full of bloody conflicts but we have never broken out a war or tried to attack our neighbors.

RIA Novosti (Russia)

« Интервью президента Албании Альфреда Мосиу », by Alfred Moisiu, Ria Novosti, May 7, 2005. Text adapted from an interview.