Albanian Prime Minister calls for Kosovo’s integration into NATO

Albanian Prime Minister calls for Kosovo’s integration into NATO

Prime Minister Edi Rama used a press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday (July 13) to ask for Kosovo to be included in the alliance’s Partnership for Peace programme.

Following the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Madrid, Mr. Stoltenberg met with leaders of member states to discuss the current security situation and opportunities for cooperation.

Kosovo is not a member of NATO, although it has repeatedly expressed its desire to join. Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti said in May that he intended to apply to participate in the Partnership for Peace programme, seen as a prerequisite for full membership.

However, the road ahead for the country remains difficult, as accession requires the consensus of all member states. A condition that he cannot obtain because of the non-recognition of the country by Spain, Romania, Greece and Slovakia.

I again had the opportunity to mention the need to consider Kosovo’s participation in the Partnership for Peace program, although I understand that there are certain blockages”said Rama, referring to the need for consensus before such membership can be granted.

“Despite everything, in the times we live in, in my humble opinion, this should be reconsidered”he added.

Mr. Rama also spoke of the need to involve Serbia in matters relating to regional security and the fight against pressure from external and harmful forces, although Belgrade is not a member of the alliance.

The prime minister reiterated his offer for a new naval base for NATO use, referring to Porto Romano in Durres. The project to transform the existing port into a naval site was first mentioned at the beginning of July. The adjacent port of Durres is set to be redeveloped under a major concession deal with an Emirati company.

These projects are in addition to those of the Kucova Air Base, which is currently undergoing work to be transformed into a NATO airfield and logistics centre.

Mr. Stoltenberg took the opportunity to thank Albania for its continued support and alignment, as well as the deployment of its troops in Kosovo, Latvia and Bulgaria. He also congratulated the country for being one of the first to ratify Sweden’s and Finland’s membership protocol following their formal application to join the alliance.

A new NATO naval base will be built in Albania

The transformation of an Albanian port on the Adriatic coast into a NATO naval base will be at the heart of discussions between the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jens Stoltenberg and the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, during a bilateral meeting this week.

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