President Nishani makes historic visit to Presevo Valley
- “We must look ahead in our future for the sake of our people. Our future must be built based on respect and not hate. Let’s build a better future for new generations,” says President Nishani
TIRANA, March 7 – President Bujar Nishani visited Presevo Valley on Tuesday, marking the first visit of an Albanian head of state in Serbia in the last seven decades outside attendance in regional summits.
In his stop in Bujanovac, Nishani was received by hundreds of citizens who held Albanian flags and banners reading “Welcome Mr. President.”
He met with the chairman of Bujanovc commune, Shaip Kamberi, and held discussions with Serbian politicians in the local government unit as well as the chairman of the Coordinative Council of Serbia for the Presevo area, Zoran Stankovic.
Interlocutors talked about education, culture, civic values and the economic development of municipalities of Bujanovac and Presevo.
Nishani pledged that Albania is “interested in promoting the rights of Albanians in Presevo Valley.”
Nishani, who was invited by Mayor Kamberi, underlined that “Albania is interested to work for the advance and promotion of coexistence in multinational communities.”
“We must look ahead in our future for the sake of our people. Our future must be built based on respect and not hate. Let’s build a better future for new generations,” Nishani added.
He described relations between Albania and Serbia as good and pledged that “Tirana will continue to build new relations with Belgrade” and called for the set up of an action plan for the implementation agreements achieved by the two countries.
“The governments must strengthen and advance their agreements to improve the living quality of Albanian communities in southern Serbia,” Nishani added.
Nishani’s visit to Serbia, marked the 130th anniversary of the first Albanian-language school opened in the area near the border. It comes about 70 years after the visit of Albania’s communist dictator Enver Hoxha in the area.
The visit was described as peaceful and tensions-free.
Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, commented Nishani’s visit and warned Albania against territorial claims in southern Serbia.
“Nobody will be allowed to dream any dreams at the expense of our territory and our nation’s vital interests,” Vucic said in an interview for Tanjug news agency. “We are not scared by anything. We are an open country, everyone is welcome, but those who thinks he can or may undermine the integrity of the country, my answer is not to do that.”
The Serbian minister of labor, Alexander Vulin, also warned against an “awakening of Greater Albania politics” in the Balkans.
Relations between Serbia and Albania are still fragile, despite attempts between the two countries to put differences behind and improve collaboration in the framework of the EU membership plans.