13 February 2014
Eurasian economic summit
Prince Leka II speech at the 17th Euroasian Economic Summit, in Istumbul Turkey.
The Improtance of Peace: Dialogue from Local to Global:
Mr. Chairman Seyhulislam Pasazade,
Ecumenical Patriarch BARTHOLOMEW I
Ministers and members of Parliament,
Ladies and Gentleman,
I am honored to take part in this esteemed summit before an audience of remarkable individuals of which inbound the importance of understanding the role of local and global dialogue as a mechanism of furthering tolerance and peace, whilst insuring further stability in our regions for future generations. This in its self is to the credit of the Marmara foundation and its broader vision.
The South East European region is battling its Balkan legacy and dealing with historical problems whilst focusing on a common European future, this embodies the importance of reaching out and facing our regional challenges. Any deliberate resistance of ignoring problems of regional importance can only lead to the building of mechanisms to those intrest groups that may favor conflicts.
Albania is ancient Nation with one of the youngest populations in Europe with the majority of Albanians below the age of thirty. Surrounded by ethnic Albanians on all its boarders has lead to a unique example of political maturity and patience as they pursue stability. The ethnic Albanians face their hardships brought on by the rewriting of boarders during the conference of London 1913.
Last year i had the great honor of being a part of the bilateral talks between Albania and our neighbor Greece during the visit of President Karolos Papoulias, which emphasized the very good relations between our two countries. However we still have inherited problems from our past. To mention just one: "the Law of War", Nr. 2636/1940 and Nr. 2637/1940, declared by Royal decree in 1940 against Albania, which keeps in force the confiscation of Albanian lands in Greece, discriminating primarily the Came community of thier rights, including the right of regaining Greek citizenship, which has still not been amended by the Greek Parliament even though we have a signed pact of friendship since 1998. Between NATO members and future European partners dialog is of great importance.
A great example of dialog should be noted between Kosova and Serbia, where after a harsh war solid ground of understanding has been gained. Whilst the Albanian population in Presheva and Serbs living in Mitrovica still have a long way to go in insuring future stability, as in Macedonia where one million Albanians are seeing the slow implementation of the Ohri agreement which was a factor of stability and peace for the young country through dialogue.
These issues emphasize the importance of tolerance and communication allowing for constructive dialog to encourage common ground which impacts our common European future.
On a closing note:
During the Holocaust Remembrance Day King Zog, a muslim King was honored for opening up the boarders of Albania in saving the Jewish families escaping Nazi persecution.
Albania, a majority Muslim country, was the only occupied country which had more Jews after the war than before because of our honor code the BESA, without a single case of persecution.
The Albanian honor code of the BESA offers a message of peace and respect of which could be our small countries contribution to global dialogue by leading by example.
In agreement with the Chinese proverb, "Something as small as the flutter of a butterfly,s wings can cause a Typhoon halfway around the world"!