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2017 Visit Battelli AlbaniaSpecial Representative Roberto Battelli and Speaker of Parliament Ilir Meta in Tirana, 15 May 2017. (Photo courtesy of the Albanian Parliament)TIRANA, 15 May 2017 – OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Vice-President and Special Representative on South East Europe Roberto Battelli (MP, Slovenia) today kicked off a week-long visit to Albania, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Beginning his visit to the region in Tirana, Albania, Battelli has held a series of meetings with heads of political parties and national leaders, including Prime Minister Edi Rama, Speaker of the Assembly Ilir Meta and Head of the OSCE PA’s Albanian Delegation Arta Dade.

Battelli, who is accompanied by the OSCE PA’s Special Representative in Vienna, Amb. Andreas Nothelle, has met with Amb. Bernd Borchardt, Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania, and Amb. Peter Tejler, who is heading the election observation mission of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. Topics of discussion have included the political crisis in the country as it prepares for parliamentary elections next month. Battelli is expected to serve as Special Co-ordinator for the short-term OSCE observer mission for the 18 June vote. 

Meetings were also held today with opposition leader Lulzim Basha and Denar Biba, Chair of Albania’s Central Election Commission.

Battelli and Nothelle continue their visit to the region with meetings Tuesday in Montenegro. Discussions are expected with Amb. Maryse Daviet, Head of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro, and Speaker of Parliament Ivan Brajovic. Meetings will also be held with election administrators before the PA delegation participates in a Conference on the OSCE Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security also held in Montenegro. Other meetings are scheduled with OSCE officials and representatives of civil society.

The visit to the region continues Wednesday with meetings scheduled in Sarajevo. Battelli will meet with Amb. Jonathan Moore, Head of the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other representatives of the international community before meeting with parliamentary leaders on Thursday. He wraps up the visit on Friday in Banja Luka with meetings with religious leaders and Police Director Slavisa Culum.