The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) views Albania's Prime Minister Edi Rama summoning yesterday the leaders of the Macedonian-Albanian political parties to Tirana for meetings as meddling in the internal affairs of Macedonia.
Albania's Prime Minister Edi Rama is more than welcome to meet whomever he wants from the Albanian minority in Macedonia, whenever he pleases. However, meeting with them one day after the State Election Commission announced results, of which some political parties are contesting, including those representing the Albanian minority, and on the same day, as the opposition SDSM announcing strong opposition to VMRO-DPMNE forming a government, undermines good-neighborly relations and is meddling in internal affairs of Macedonia.
As the historic and sovereign homeland of Macedonians and a multicultural nation-state, Macedonia grants equal human rights to all its minorities, including the Albanian minority, and are fully protected by the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia.
PM Rama is creating even more problems for Macedonia. PM Rama has previously threatened to block Macedonia's NATO membership. PM Rama’s predecessor, Sali Berisha, once stated that all Albanians from all so-called Albanian territories should be united in one nation, sparking widespread criticism for his irredentist comments.
In a time when ethnicity is constantly being brought up in Macedonia's media, fueling legitimate concerns of federalization and national bilingualism, PM Rama's efforts are counterproductive.
The United States, NATO/EU members, and the international community should not tolerate the exploiting of NATO and EU membership for nationalistic agendas by Albania, or any other nations in the Balkans.
Albania can be a huge friend to Macedonia, and support it on Macedonia's path to NATO. PM Rama’s act is just not the appropriate diplomatic thing to do, and meddles in the internal affairs of Macedonia.
UMD uses this opportunity to also once again call upon Macedonian authorities to conduct a full census of the population, which has not been held in 14 years. The failure to implement a census further exacerbates inter-ethnic problems in the country and can have serious ramifications to the unitary territorial integrity of the nation-state.