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Speeches

V. Ahmeti: Address to World Summit 2020

Address to World Summit 2020, Seoul, Korea, February 3-8, 2020

 

Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honor for me and my wife to participate in the Universal Peace Federation’s World Summit 2020 here in South Korea.

I feel also honored to be able to give some comments on this important topic, which is so sensitive to my country, to the Balkans and to the whole of Europe.

In my viewpoint, Balkan stability and cooperation can be improved and fostered by addressing and investing in some key factors, which are:

  1. The Political Factor

The stand of some Balkan countries to not recognize Kosovo as an independent state hinders cooperation in the region. The longer this situation goes on, it more it will endanger the stability in the Balkans and beyond. In this moment it is very important to continue the dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo and to conclude with an agreement as soon as possible. Surely the participation of the United States and the European Union is crucial in this process.

  1. The Demographic Factor

Most of the Balkan countries have mixed populations within their borders, namely Albanians outside the Albanian borders but some other countries also. This demographic configuration is a positive factor for cooperation in the Balkans, if addressed properly. Economic interests and mutual cultural heritages and traditions should help improve the cooperation between countries.

  1. The Economic Factor

There is already an established tradition of market exchange of goods in the Balkans. The growth in imports and exports between the countries has improved not only the market itself but also economic and state relations; thus businesses have created a positive atmosphere. However, they need support from their respective governments by facilitating property-related issues, the system of customs taxes, and transportation. The governments of the Balkan countries should expand economic relations and should stimulate joint projects in the fields of energy, infrastructure, transport, etc. In this way the cooperation between Balkan countries naturally will develop and grow.

An economic union in the Balkans would be effective and would stimulate and facilitate joint investments, if we build the necessary infrastructure. However, unfortunately we do not have railway transportation available between the Balkan countries. The capacities of Albania’s ports cannot be fully used without a railway transport system.

On the other hand, the initiative for economic cooperation in the Balkans is very good and would work very well, once all countries accept it and become part of it. I am talking about the so-called “Balkan Mini-Schengen.” Of course, extreme nationalistic stands damage the concept of such cooperation.

It is very normal to think that new political parties coming up or renovation of the politics in general in the Balkans will open up new doors for cooperation, reconciliation and mutual prosperity for all.

Thank you very much!

 

 


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