OSCE PA South East Europe envoy Azay Guliyev concludes visit to North Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro

130522 01 Azay Guliyev and Danijela ĐurovićAzay Guliyev and Danijela ĐurovićVIENNA, 13 May 2022 – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Special Representative on South East Europe, Vice-President Azay Guliyev (Azerbaijan), has been in North Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro this week for a series of meetings with parliamentarians, governmental officials and representatives of political parties on domestic and regional developments.

Special Representative Guliyev was received at the highest levels of all three countries, and heard a wide range of views on the challenges facing the region.

“To have a comprehensive understanding of the region, I’m pleased to undertake consecutive visits to North Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro,” Guliyev said. “As a focal point for the Assembly’s work in the region, I was pleased to have the opportunity to explore the viewpoints of Skopje, Tirana and Podgorica on regional developments and regional co-operation, as well as discuss the recent domestic political developments, which I will value as I produce my report on the occasion of the PA’s Annual Session this July.”

In Skopje, he met with President of the Republic of North Macedonia President Stevo Pendarovski, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bujar Osmani, President of the Assembly Talat Xhaferi, President of the Political Party VMRO–DPMNE Hristijan Mickovski, President of the Political Party Movement BESA Bilal Kasami, President of the Political Party Alliance for the Albanians Zijadin Sela, and North Macedonia’s Delegation to the OSCE PA.

130522 001 Speaker of the Parliament Lindita NikollaVincenzo Del Monaco, Azay Guliyev and Lindita NikollaIn Tirana, meetings were held with Albanian President Ilir Meta, Speaker of the Parliament Lindita Nikolla, Deputy Prime Minister Arben Ahmetaj, Minister of State for Parliamentary Relations Elisa Spiropali, Head of the Parliamentary Group of the Socialist Party Taulant Balla, Chair of the Democratic Party Enkelejd Alibeaj, Acting Head of the European Union Delegation Alexis Hupin, and the OSCE PA’s Albanian Delegation.

Special Representative Guliyev met in Podgorica with Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazović, Foreign Minister Ranko Krivokapić, President of the Parliament Danijela Đurović, Secretary General of the Parliament Aleksandar Klarić, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro Amb. Oana Cristina Popa, representatives of Democratic Montenegro Party, and the Delegation of Montenegro to the OSCE PA.

In the three capitals, the OSCE PA delegation, led by Special Representative Guliyev, was joined by the Head of the OSCE Mission to Skopje, Ambassador Clemens Koja; the Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania, Ambassador Vincenzo Del Monaco and the Head of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro, Ambassador Dominique Waag.

Guliyev stressed the importance of the work of OSCE missions in North Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro in helping to achieve the countries’ goals. “The three countries may count on the support and expert advice provided by the unparalleled presence of the OSCE in the region, its excellent co-operation with domestic institutions is an asset for the OSCE area,” Guliyev said.

North Macedonia, 8 to 10 May

130522 02 Azay Guliyev and Stevo PendarovskiAzay Guliyev and Stevo PendarovskiIn Skopje, Special Representative Guliyev congratulated North Macedonia for the upcoming Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2023 and conveyed the full support of the OSCE PA. The meetings were an opportunity to listen to regional co-operation initiatives as well as bilateral relations with neighbouring countries.

Guliyev’s interlocutors outlined ongoing efforts to advance the European Union accession process and expectations for the upcoming decision of the European Council on whether to allow North Macedonia to start accession negotiations. Discussions touched on outstanding challenges in the country that are generating frustration among the population.

North Macedonia’s interlocutors expressed warm appreciation for the work of the OSCE Mission to Skopje. Attention was brought to the war in Ukraine and on its reverberations on the country, specifically the economic situation and rising inflation since the start of the conflict, as well as more broadly policies designed to alleviate economic pressure on the population.

Guliyev took the opportunity to get acquainted with the state of play of inter-party dialogue, including government and opposition, and constructive convergence on national priorities. The Special Representative praised North Macedonia’s OSCE PA Delegation for its dedication and active participation in the Assembly, and expressed appreciation to Head of Delegation Igor Janushev for accompanying him throughout the meetings.

Albania, 10 and 11 May

130522 03 Ilir Meta and Azay GuliyevIlir Meta and Azay GuliyevIn Tirana, Albanian interlocutors highly praised the contribution and the technical assistance provided by the Presence in Albania, including in relation to projects supporting the parliament. Further, longstanding and mutually beneficial co-operation between Albania and the OSCE was praised by all interlocutors.

Discussions also elaborated on the EU accession prospects for Albania, considered extremely important for the region, particularly in the wake of the war in Ukraine. Special Representative Guliyev’s interlocutors highlighted that protraction of the accession process increases unpredictability and general frustration and expressed hope that the EU Council will decide to start accession negotiations when it meets in June.

Special Representative Guliyev also discussed Tirana’s domestic reform agenda, commending the steady progress marked particularly in the judiciary and in the fight against corruption and organized crime, as well as on the economy. Guliyev’s interlocutors stressed Albania’s commitment to also follow up on past electoral-related recommendations by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights through inclusive cross-party participation.

The meetings were an opportunity for Special Representative Guliyev to praise Albania’s contribution in multilateral organizations, also demonstrated by the OSCE Chairmanship in 2020 and the participation as non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2022-2023. Further, Guliyev commended Albania for spearheading the Women, Peace and Security agenda in multilateral formats and for promoting gender mainstreaming in domestic institutions to unprecedented levels.

Guliyev’s interlocutors highlighted that regional co-operation is improving, also thanks to the “Open Balkan” initiative and stressed that such progress also aids the accession into the EU of the region. The Special Representative welcomed the new Delegation of Albania to the OSCE PA and encouraged to continue engaging in meaningful cross-party dialogue.

Montenegro, 11 to 13 May

130522 04 Azay Guliyev and Dritan AbazovićAzay Guliyev and Dritan AbazovićIn Podgorica, Guliyev congratulated his interlocutors on the new government and wished success to the government in its future work.

Montenegrin interlocutors outlined Montenegro’s EU integration priority and its future steps. Guliyev praised Montenegro for its efforts and progress in the rule of law and the fight against organized crime; the meetings were also an opportunity to encourage all interlocutors to invest in further dialogue in order to achieve further results.

The discussions on 12 May were an opportunity for Special Representative Guliyev to encourage the new government to continue promoting dialogue in all areas.

The meetings in Podgorica highlighted the importance of the OSCE as a strategic partner in strengthening peace, democracy and security in the region, including in implementing reforms and further strengthening democratic development as well as improving Montenegro’s electoral system and strengthening parliamentary capacity.

Guliyev highlighted the importance of ensuring full functionality of State Institutions, which, together with the reforms on the path to Montenegro’s EU integration process are considered pivotal by the Montenegrin interlocutors, who also welcomed the work of the OSCE Mission in the country.

The Special Representative discussed the consequences of the war in Ukraine for Montenegro and the region, also in relation to the EU integration process. In Podgorica, Guliyev commended the OSCE PA Delegation for its active participation in the Assembly and called for further dialogue and cross-party dialogue in the months to come.

In Podgorica, Guliyev appreciated that also the Permanent Representative of Montenegro to the UN, OSCE and other international organizations in Vienna, Amb. Veselin Šuković attended the meetings.

130522 002 Azay Guliyev and Bujar OsmaniAzay Guliyev and Bujar OsmaniGuliyev took the opportunity to thank the Head of the OSCE Mission to Skopje, Amb. Clemens Koja, the Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania, Amb. Vincenzo Del Monaco and the Head of the OSCE Mission to Montenegro, Amb. Dominique Waag for their valuable advice and for joining his delegation throughout the meetings in the three respective countries. Special Representative Guliyev reiterated his and the OSCE PA’s full support to the work of the OSCE Mission to Skopje, to the OSCE Presence in Albania and to the OSCE Mission to Montenegro.

During the regional visit, Special Representative Guliyev proposed the idea of an inter-parliamentary forum with the participation of OSCE PA Delegations from South East Europe, as a platform to advance regional co-operation, based on the three dimensions of the OSCE PA – an initiative that was positively welcomed by all interlocutors.

Guliyev praised the political parties for their acumen in their responsibilities and was glad to have witnessed commitment into investing on political dialogue between parties.

Ahead of the OSCE PA’s 2-6 July Annual Session, Special Representative Guliyev plans to visit Romania and Bulgaria in June.

For more on the work of the Special Representative on South East Europe, please click here.

Photos of Special Representative Guliyev's visit are available on Flickr.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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