Joint press conference by the NATO Secretary General, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg, and the Prime Minister of Albania, Mr. Edi Rama, at NATO Headquarters on July 13, 2022.
Okay, good afternoon everybody. We have time just for statements from the Secretary General and the Prime Minister unfortunately won’t have time for questions. Secretary General, please go ahead.
Prime Minister Amadou, welcome back to the NATO headquarters. It’s great to see you again. So shortly after the Madrid summit, Albania is really highly valued ally and I appreciate this opportunity to meet with you again. Albania contributes to the multinational forces in Latvia and in Bulgaria and you help us to deter any aggression against any NATO allied country. You also contribute to NATO’s K for peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. The Western Balkans is of strategic importance to and we appreciate Albania’s commitment to promoting stability and cooperation across the region. At the NATO summit in Madrid, we took far reaching decisions to strengthen and transform the alliance. These include a fundamental shift in our deterrence and defense posture, more support to Ukraine and a new strategic concept. We also agreed to invite Finland and Sweden to join and I commend Albania for ratifying the accession protocols for both countries so quickly. Thank you so much. This shows that store remains open and that we continue to stand up for the right of every nation to choose its own path. Welcoming Finland and Sweden into the alliance will make them safer, stronger and all of us more secure. This is vital as we face the biggest security crisis in decades, NATO stands with Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia’s brutal war. We are providing unprecedented levels of support and this will continue for a longer term. Are welcome. Albanians support for Ukraine including your recent pledge for humanitarian aid and also your recent visit to Ukraine was an important demonstration of solidarity. So Prime Minister Rama, thank you again for Albania’s contributions to our shared security. I look forward to continuing working together with you. So once again welcome.
Thank you very much Durians and sorry and it’s a big pleasure and also honored to to be back and to have the opportunity to share with you some opinions after the Madrid summit, which as you underlined was indeed historic moment for the transatlantic alliance in response to the dangerous European security due to Russia’s war of choice and with the adoption of important decisions to transform and strengthen the alliance and ensure that NATO continues to preserve peace, prevent conflict and protect allied people and values. On the other hand, I’m proud that the Albanian parliament became one of the first allied parliaments to ratify films and Sweden’s accession protocols. Only few days after the signature by the allied ambassadors, we stand firmly in full solidarity with Ukraine. And of course it goes without even saying that our support to for the sovereignty and territorial integrity within the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine is as firm as ever. On the other hand, it’s important that we continue our conversation vis a vis the situation and also the obligations we have in the Western Balkans to exactly prevent every escalation and prevent that every bad influence become trouble for our region in our light capacity. And as an EU candidate country, we will continue to play our traditional role in support of regional peace, reconciliation and of course stability. And while the new strategic concept that we just endorsed underscores the strategic importance of the Western Balkans to NATO, we very much believe that it’s very, very important to do permanent dialogue work with all the Western Balkan countries, including including Serbia who is not part of our alliance but still is part of our region. On the other hand, I have again had the chance to tell you what I already mentioned in the summit. The need to consider the the involvement of Kosovo in the partnership for peace. Although we know there’s some political constraints from some allies and we know that this is a consensual body, but still with the times that we are living in. It’s really ah in my humble view wise to reconsider and the last but not least, I’m very thankful that you had also the responsibility to give us a little time in our conversation to introduce your ambition to add another important value to the infrastructure and the logistics of our alliance by putting the disposal of NATO state of the art naval base, which will be a clean sheet and will will be a place where we cannot only build but also built considering the challenges of our time from climate change to environment protection and to all the rest. So thank you for that, too. And it’s always a pleasure to be back here. And it always helps to go back with full energy to continue and serve this this whole alliance. Thank you. You can’t. Thanks.