Mejdani criticises Greece at UN Summit
In his speech to the UN General Assembly at the body's Millennium Summit, President Rexhep Mejdani obliquely criticised Greece for maintaining its legal state of war with Albania.
"We must ask ourselves," he said, "can we arrive at an acceptable definition of good governance while members of the United Nations maintain a de jure declaration of war with other members? Certainly not," he said.
While Mejdani maintains that the increasingly globalised world is more stable, he feels that dictators, authoritarian demagogues and new, emerging strains of fascism present a risk to many European nations. In this, he singled out the Balkans, saying regional development and security are constantly threatened by the "criminal Belgrade regime."
"The crisis in the former Yugoslav Federation began in 1989 in Kosovo, and will only end after a proper solution to the question, with a new, democratic Kosovo."
Mejdani went on to criticise the more developed UN members for insufficient aid to underdeveloped nations, saying "it does not cost too much to lecture undeveloped countries and criticise their ineffective governing, while giving them less funds to support their technological, educational and other development needs."
The president also met with his Montenegrin and Macedonian counterparts to discuss regional security and politics.
Meta stops in to visit the Austrians...
Left-leaning Prime Minister Ilir Meta was warmly welcomed by his right-leading Austrian counterpart, Wolfgang Schüssel, on his visit this week to Vienna.
Schüssel, whose nation currently holds the presidency of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) told Meta "we are very satisfied with the work your government is carrying out organising free and fair democratic elections."
Schüssel also credited Meta for bringing a new generation of politicians to government, saying "that your government has managed such success in such a short period is the result of your success in engaging young politicians in government," adding that "Albania is now considered a trusted ally."
The two discussed Balkan stability, and Schüssel said he hoped Albania would continue to play a positive role in the field, noting that "the situation in the region and in Kosovo is good, in large part, because of Albanian co-operation," adding that he would continue to support Albanian integration through the Stability Pact.
During his visit, Meta also met with the Austrian foreign and education ministers, parliamentary president and Vienna's mayor.
...and the Germans
In a stopover in Germany, Meta met with German Minister of Co-operation and Development Wieczorek Zeul, asking for German support for fast-tracking Albania within the Stability Pact.
According to press reports, the German minister assured Meta that Albania remains a priority nation in Germany's foreign policy, as are the Balkans in general.
IMF: no exceptions!
According to the daily Shekulli, a financial report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Council of Europe (CofE) representatives in Albania have warned the government against the granting of extra-regulatory "favours" and exceptions in the application of the law. IMF experts noted that Albanian authorities had granted special, extralegal concessions to investors in the poor northern part of the country.
Theatre in Buntrinti
The end of last week and beginning of this week saw a Mediterranean theatre festival in the ancient city of Buntrinti, with companies from Albania, Macedonia, Italy, Romania and Greece among those present. The Romanian company delighted audiences Friday night with its presentation of Panait Istrati's "Mediterranean," while record crowds were expected to flood the city for the Macedonian and Italian spectacles this past Saturday and Sunday nights.
Random ballerinas in Tirana
According to Zana Cela, director of the Albanian Theatre of Ballet and Opera, "Random," the British ballet company, will perform at Tirana's Open Ballet Theatre (TBO). The show, by master choreographer Wayne MacGregor, is sponsored by TBO, the British Council and the British Embassy in Tirana.
Artur Nura, 9 September 2000
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