Albanian PM Pays Historic Visit to Serbia

World | November 10, 2014, Monday // 14:59|  views

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama (L) and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic prior to a press conference in Belgrade, Serbia, 10 November 2014. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama is on a historical state visit to Serbia – the first of an Albanian PM in more than 70 years.

According to the press office of the Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic, as cited by Bulgarian private TV station bTV, the program of the visit includes a meeting between the two heads of government, a plenary sitting of the Serbian and Albanian delegations, the signing of bilateral agreements, as well as a joint press conference.

The topics of discussion or the contents of the documents have not been disclosed.

Edi Rama’s agenda does not include a meeting with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic, Serbian media report.

According to Serbian newspaper Danas, the initial plan for the visit to the town of Presevo has changed. Rama will not hold a meeting with the citizens of Presevo, but will give a speech at the cultural centre of the town.

Rama's visit had been initially scheduled for October 22, but was postponed due to worsening relations between the countries, following the football incident on October 14 that had a political note to it.

During the qualifying game for EURO 2016 between Serbia and Albania, Albanian supporters, including Rama's brother, flew a drone over the pitch with a flag of Greater Albania attached to it.

A Serbian player managed to take down the flag that was waving above the footballers' heads, but was immediately attacked by two of the Albanian players.

This escalated into a massive fight between players, coaches, and fans that had managed to infiltrate the pitch, which resulted in the game being canceled.

The idea of Greater Albania calls for the inclusion of southern areas of Serbia (Presevo Valley), Kosovo, northwestern regions of Macedonia, and the southwestern part of Montenegro to the present-day territory of Albania. The Albanian nationalists also claim parts of northern Greece, although there is hardly any Albanian population, in contrast to the aforementioned territories.

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Tags: Edi Rama, Albania, Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, Serbian Prime Minister


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