Mr. Besnik MUSTAFAJ
President of CAA
Honorable Mr. President of the Republic,
On behalf of the Council of Albanian Ambassadors, I extend to you a warm welcome to the celebration of the First Anniversary of our organization. We view your high presence here today as a token of appreciation and encouragement for our Council.
In fact, one year is a very little time for the life of an organization. It is also very little for the professional life for each one in our Council. Nonetheless, this first year has been quite sufficient to affirm the goal of our joining together.
Each of us has a long and unique experience behind at the service of the foreign policy of the Republic of Albania. True, we are not part of our Diplomatic Corps; yet, our solid confidence has been and remains that this experience is useful for our national foreign policy interests.
We do also believe that speeding up Albania’s EU integration is the major interest for all Albanians. Accordingly, we have provided and will continue to do so and, on voluntary basis, with our expertise, in support of this process.
For well-known historic reasons, a part of Albanian ambassadors during the last 30 years have not come only from the career diplomatic service. Therefore, in the course of preparations for founding our Council, we had two choices: either to go beyond this reality and join one another for a single goal over the party beliefs or set up two separate organizations, thus extending the political debates among parties to our Council.
We made the first choice, also the most difficult one; we wanted to set out an example how even those who think differently may come together. Thus, we had the liberty to enlargen our Council, including former ministers foreign affairs as well.
It should be admitted that this year was not the most appropriate to start up the life of an organization like ours; in the landscape of the Albanian civil society, the Council of Albanian Ambassadors is a very specific and atypical example; and, it is its members that have made it so. Many from us entered the foreign service after a notable career and a long route within one of the largest political formations.
As we all know, this year has marked an escalating tension in the political life to reach up the point of extreme polarization today. An indication of this polarization is also the different way how one or the other political camp “ read” the messages from our international European and US partners.
In such conditions, the challenge for our Council has been and remains to preserve its coherence to the benefit of national interest, avoiding both the euphoria of a party and the nihilism of the other. Thanks to their unity, our Council Members have succeeded to rise over individual political preferences.
Certainly, we shall keep on this track, believing that despite our modest capabilities, we shall be useful in supporting Albania’s Euro – Atlantic aspiations.
We have only advice and suggestions; besides, we speak in public or in confidential encounters for all those who want to listen to us. The Council of Albanian Ambassadors has been cautious in averting internal party debates, by largely focusing on the foreign policy developments of our state.
However, taking advantage from the presence of some of our major political leaders here today, we use this opportunity to voice our great concern on the grave situation that has swept over the country. In our judgment, this unusual situation impairs the confidence of our strategic European and American partners on Albania and its political establishment; It does also put to direct difficulties the EU integration process.
Moreover, it is not only the reasons lying at its origine but also the mode of the management of this crisis which do not correspond to the values of European democracy. The CAA cannot reconcile with this reality. We think that the only healthy solution to this crisis is a compromise that should be necessarily reached through an open and fair dialogue.
Therefore, we expect from both sides to pull out from the party trenches and without losing any more time to come closer to the common point – the major country’s interests. This would be a compromise with painful concessions by both sides and from those in power, in particular; it would be one of those compromises reached only by a political leadership with deeply rooted convictions to serve democracy. This compromise could be an opportunity for those leaders who dream to have an esteemed place in our political and national history. We still hope that they would not miss this chance.
And now, permit me to extend our deepest gratitude to the Council of American Ambassadors. Our friends from Washignton have accompanied and encouraged us from the very first moment when the idea for this Council was born.
Our cooperation with the Council of American Ambassadors and the US Diplomatic Academy is very precious for us.
Likewise, special thanks go to the ambassadors of our friendly countries accredited in Tirana. They have realized from the very outset our goal, establishing an open and friendly communication with us as among colleagues. We also thank the media for their echoe to our statements.
Finally, let me assure you that we shall continue to perform our duty, hoping we would be useful for the public opinion, for the Diplomatic Corps of the Republic of Albania and for all state institutions, that in one way or another, are involved with Albania’s international relations and our partners.
Thank you all!