TIRANA, 19 November 2019 – OSCE PA President George Tsereteli and Secretary General Roberto Montella have concluded an official visit to Albania, as it prepares to assume the OSCE Chairmanship in 2020.
In Tirana, the PA Delegation held meetings with President of the Republic Ilir Meta, Prime Minister Edi Rama, Speaker of the Assembly Gramoz Ruci, members of the Assembly and with representatives of the political opposition. In addition, they also held briefings with the OSCE Head of Presence, Ambassador Bernd Borchardt and members of the international community.
Discussions focused on priorities for the incoming Albanian Chairmanship, as well as Albania’s foreign policy priorities and issues on its domestic agenda. In this regard, President Tsereteli and SG Montella reiterated the full support of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and welcomed the government’s commitment to nurture the OSCE in a spirit of collective responsibility. President Tsereteli also encouraged all political forces to join efforts in contributing to the country’s commitment to guide the OSCE next year.
The PA delegation also discussed with Albanian counterparts domestic challenges. In particular, the sides discussed the state of judicial and electoral reforms and the need to address the OSCE/ODIHR’s recommendations through an inclusive process.
“I can confirm that the PA is committed to supporting Albania unleash its full potential during its OSCE Chairmanship,” President Tsereteli said. “I encourage to address the gap in the reform process as soon as possible, particularly in the judicial and electoral fields. I see an urgent need to increase public trust in institutions.”
The decision by the European Union to postpone a decision on accession negotiations was also addressed in the context of ongoing and outstanding reforms.
The OSCE PA delegation also met with representatives of parliamentary opposition groups, including Rudina Hajdari, Nimet Musaj and Adriatik Alimadhi, as well as with representatives of the extra parliamentary opposition, including the leader of the Democratic Party Luzlim Basha, Chairman of the Republican Party Fatmir Mediu and leader of the Socialist Movement for Integration Party Monika Kryemadhi.
Secretary General Montella took note of the opposition’s criticism of the government and some international organizations active in the country, He encouraged, however, the extra parliamentary opposition to lend a constructive contribution to ensure that the 2020 OSCE Albanian Chairmanship is carried out in a spirit of national unity and responsible leadership of the organization in order to address effectively the needs of the citizens the OSCE serves.
“I appeal to all institutional, political and national stakeholders to prioritize the notion of strategic and collective responsibility,” Montella said. “I am convinced that this is the best medium term investment for Albania.”
Photos of the visit are available on Flickr.