COPENHAGEN, 9 April 2019 – Following the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Bureau meeting in Copenhagen Monday, Ilir Meta, the President of Albania, held talks at the International Secretariat with OSCE PA President George Tsereteli and Secretary General Roberto Montella.
The main topics of discussion included Albania’s preparations for assuming the Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2020, which President Meta described as both a challenge and opportunity, and Albania’s EU integration process, with the European Council due to decide whether to start accession in June.
President Meta also talked about domestic challenges such as judicial reform, which he viewed as a national priority. The President said that judicial reform deserves renewed commitment from all sides in Albania, as well as the international community, stressing that the engagement of the international community must be unbiased and constructive.
The President also discussed the political situation in Albania, which is polarized and was marked recently by the opposition’s walkout from parliament. He noted that the situation requires national dialogue and readiness for compromise, and in this context, solutions should be pursued that are impartial and respectful of Albanian sovereignty.
Discussions also touched on local elections that will take place on 30 June, as well as regional developments such as the EU-facilitated Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.
President Tsereteli and Secretary General Montella welcomed Albania’s commitment to chair the OSCE in 2020, which they described as an act of courage, responsibility, and generosity. With the Chairmanship in sight, they stressed the need for Albanian politicians to promote a positive image through political convergence and compromise.
Tsereteli and Montella appealed to all stakeholders to place their abundance of experience and expertise in the pursuit of national and foreign strategic interests and to demonstrate the political will necessary to overcome domestic shortcomings. They underlined that this convergence must materialize in the appropriate fora, through responsible dialogue and co-operation, and that parliamentary mechanisms should not be replaced by street violence. They expressed the desire to see the Albanian government take swift and effective reform-oriented steps, especially in the judiciary, in order to combat organized crime and corruption.
The President and Secretary General added that the PA is closely following developments in Albania and stands ready to engage its expertise and instruments in co-ordination with the OSCE’s governmental side and institutions.