Thursday, February 21, 2013

Albanian PM criticized over "unification" statements

GDANSK -- Slovakian FM Miroslav Lajčak on Thursday criticized Albanian PM Sali Berisha for his recent statements about "a unification of Albanians in the Balkans".
"We know what that kind of statements in that area has led to," Lajčak warned during a gathering in Gdansk, Poland.
"We cannot just stand by and watch. This will surely show up very quickly in official European Union statements," he said, according to Slovakia's Pravda newspaper, which said on its website that Berisha "repeatedly spoke about a unification of Albanians in all five countries in the Balkans".

Berisha recently met with a group of ethnic Albanians from Macedonia, and from Kosovo, who had spent 18 days traveling on foot from their towns to Valona in Albania.

The purpose of this was to celebrate 100 years of Albania's independence. Berisha on the occasion commented that this had "a symbolic meaning of a marathon for Albanian unity".

He said that "unification of Albanians in Europe was a lasting process", and that "obstacles created during 100 years of divisions must be overcome.

Albanian news agency NOA reported that the prime minister assessed that a unification of Albanians would also be good for neighboring countries, as it would "alleviate their Albanophobia".

The news agency said that "in that context", Berisha said described as"absolutely unacceptable stances about the Preševo valley and Macedonia", and called on ethnic Albanians there "not to fall for provocations and to support a mature solution for the problems and easing of tensions in a cool-headed manner and without any hurry".

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