President Ilir Meta and his Kosovo counterpart, Hashim Thaçi, spoke at the international conference on religious freedom today.
Despite the fact that Meta and Thaçi are both not on the best of terms with Prime Minister Rama regarding the Constitutional Court and Balkan-Schengen, the Albanian Head of State highlighted the situation in the region, underlining the battle with emigration but also Syrian war camps.
“We all have national, regional and international duties. We must be more engaged in fighting poverty and improving the standards of living. Terrorism and religious extremism come as a result of poverty, and the hope for a prosperous future disappears due to misgovernance.
“The government should draft laws for the protection of its citizens' interests. We are facing a high level of emigration. We shouldn't accept Europe's demographic winter, as expressed by Pope Francis.
“This phenomenon has not only affected us, but our entire region, therefore, we must to face it together. 'The sons of Albania' should return to their homeland for a better and safer life," declared Meta,”
The Ambassador for Religious Freedom in the State Department and Parliamentary Speaker, Gramoz Ruçi, urged politicians to take the example of religious harmony and find a path to dialogue.
The Albanian Speaker of Parliament, while attending the conference titled: "Religion as an instrument for Peace" did not spare any criticism against current political matters, accusing its members of not being very tolerant.
He stressed that Albania is the right place to focus on such sensitive topics.
“I think we are at the right place to talk about religion as an instrument of peace. Religious harmony is our national pride. Religious ideas and values predominate over the affiliation and membership of their institution. This has helped believers find common ground with other faiths.
“Politicians believe more in the party than in the democratic system,” Ruci said.
Meanwhile, Serbian President, Alexander Vucic, blamed the ignorance that has characterized the Balkans on disputes between regional countries. Stating:
“Our greatest ignorance has led us to senselessness and endangered peace. Most Serbians do not know that one of Serbia's saints, Angelina of Serbia, was, in fact, an Albanian noblewoman. So, we have to continue these talks since a major precondition for dialogue is: the freedom of religion,”
Meanwhile, President Hashim Thaçi, raised concerns about the situation in the region, since according to him, without security and stability, everything would be called into question: including religious freedom.