UMDiaspora Responds to Outrageous Comments by Albanian Foreign Minister

WASHINGTON — The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMDiaspora) expresses its disappointment and apprehension toward the recent announcement by the current Albanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Besnik Mustafaj, that the government in Tirana cannot guarantee the territorial integrity of Macedonia, should ongoing talks between the governments of Serbia and Kosovo lead to Kosovo independence.  Mr. Mustafaj is quoted as saying that, “if Kosovo is divided, Albania could not guarantee inviolability of the borders.”

UMDiaspora truly hopes that the minister’s words were misinterpreted; however, our organization feels strongly compelled to object to these remarks in the strongest terms.  Such remarks are undiplomatic and work against the traditionally warm relations enjoyed by the governments in Tirana and Skopje.  As Macedonia’s undemarcated border with Kosovo remains an open issue, the timing of Mr. Mustafaj’s remark was most counterproductive and could easily play into the hands of extremists with intent on undermining peace and stability in the region.  To quote Ms. Doris Pack, head of the European Parliament’s Southeast Europe delegation, comments such as those attributed to Mr. Mustafaj are “insane.”

Recent measures by Prime Minister Sali Berisha are welcomed, though Mr. Berisha’s remarks cannot replace an official apology from Mr. Mustafaj, who spoke on behalf of the Albanian Government.

The United Macedonian Diaspora remains committed to ensuring the stability and prosperity of Macedonians in Macedonia and abroad.  As such, our organization encourages continued cooperation between Albania and Macedonia, particularly in the area of minority rights.

Founded in 2004, United Macedonian Diaspora is an international membership organization based in Washington , D.C. addressing the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world.

For more information about United Macedonian Diaspora the public is invited to contact the D.C. office at (202) 294-3400, or e-mail at [email protected]