ALBANIAN AMBASSADOR VISITS IFIMES
LJUBLJANA, 12 January 2011 - Directors of the International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) from Ljubljana, Bakhatyar Aljaf and Zijad Bećirović, today received the Ambassador of the Republic of Albania to Slovenia Dr. Sandër Kovaçi.
During the lengthy conversation they exchanged views of the current events in Albania and the West Balkans and devoted special attention to the process of Albania's accession to the European Union. IFIMES directors presented the activities of the Institute and new projects planned for this year, whereby stress will be laid on the West Balkans where the Institute will be active on the projects related to fighting organised crime and corruption. Moreover, in 2011 IFIMES will further strengthen its activities in Albania. IFIMES directors also expressed concern regarding the opposition's (Socialist Party-PS) announcement to boycott local election in Albania scheduled for 8 May 2011. In their opinion it is of vital importance for all the state institutions to be functioning (especially the Parliament as the house of democracy) and for all political forces to assume a joint position regarding Albania's EU accession process, as was the case in all other states which eventually became full members of the EU. They commended the efforts made by the Albanian government after Kosovo declared independence in order to strengthen relations with Serbian government, which is of immense importance for stability and peace in the region.
They also commended Dr. Kovaçi for his activities and contribution to strengthening relations between the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Albania, which have justified the establishment of Albanian embassy in Ljubljana and probably further encouraged Slovenian government to open its embassy in Tirana.
Ljubljana, 12 January 2011