Minister Bushati participates in the 125th session of the CoE Committee of Ministers

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bushati participated the 125th session of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which took place in Brussels. The meeting was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the 47 CoE member states.

During the proceedings of this Session the Ministers discussed the second report of the CoE Secretary General, which focuses on the situation of democracy, rule of law and human rights in Europe and tackles specific aspects of the democratic security in our continent. Meanwhile, in the framework of the exclusive contribution and role the Council of Europe plays in establishing legal standards with regards to the fight against terrorism, the Ministers adopted the CoE Declaration and 2015 – 2017 Action Plan against violent extremism and radicalisation leading to terrorism. The Ministers also agreed on the text of the additional Protocol of the Council of Europe against terrorism, focusing on foreign terrorist fighters.

The Ministers paid special attention to the role CoE can play in response to the actual crisis and conflicts in Europe, as well as to the humanitarian situation in the Mediterranean, with tragic consequences in human lives.

In his speech, Minister Bushati welcomed the report presented by Secretary General Jagland, underlining the role of the Council of Europe in the democratic security of our continent. The year 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of Albania’s membership in this organization. During this period our country has made important steps forward with concern to strengthening of democracy, human rights, as well as the rule of law, and is toady an EU candidate country and important factor for regional stability.

Minister Bushati emphasized the importance of the Western Balkans in the actual situation of crisis and conflicts in the east and south of the continent, as well as with regards to the migratory fluxes in the Mediterranean. In the framework of the conflict situation in Europe, the Minister stressed the importance that Albania attributes to the security challenges and highlighted the fact that the Ministerial Meeting on the Fight against Extreme Violence is being held today in Tirana, following the first meeting in the White House.

With regards to the latest developments in Macedonia, Minister Bushati said: “I would like to draw your attention to the developments in neighboring Macedonia. I am not referring only to the fighting, deaths and destruction in the city of Kumanovo only a few days ago, events that, not least because of the complex ethnic and social composure of Macedonia, require full transparency. Inter-ethnic relations are vital for the existence of Macedonia, as is the full implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement. Calling what has been happening in Macedonia outbreaks of inter-ethnic and inter-religious confrontation is more than a misnomer, it is irresponsible and an attempt to flame-up inter- or intra-ethnic tensions. That is not in the interest of Macedonia’s, our region’s or Europe’s stability”.

The minister praised the important role CoE has played in helping to anchor Kosovo firmly within the European community of values and stressed that:  “Our main goal is to ensure that all European citizens – and I stress all, without exception – enjoy the standards of human rights, democracy and the rule of law, enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights and all our Convention system. Therefore, the sooner Kosovo joins the Council of Europe, the sooner its people can enjoy the protection of our Convention system”.

At the end of the proceedings Bosnia and Herzegovina took the Chairmanship in Office.

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