German President’s Question

German President Frank Walter Steinmeier turned around looking astonishingly at his assistants, asking whether the paper that was discussed really existed. The answer, a very brief „yes“, was obviously not enough. Namely, Stainmaier did not ask about a secret political document on which he was well informed. He asked something much more simple. Was it possible that, at a well prepared and organised meeting of the heads of states, an argument full of distrust and accusations took place. On the first Saturday of June this year at the Brdo castle, within the Brdo-Brioni process, a meeting of the presidents of states of Western Balkans was held. As usually, the meeting was well prepared and, also as it is usually done, joint final document on regional stability and reconciliation was adopted.
When, after the lunch of presidents, at which the main topic was
the meddling of third, big countries with internal political situations of the states of the region, and it is a thing that I have to mention, because it might help understand subsequent complications, the final debate started, all indicated that the meeting would end in an almost routine manner. Namely, protocol lunches or dinners which are closed for public are precisely the occasions on which much more can be stated. And those on which thankfulness is expressed are accusations are stated. It is obvious that the ceremonial dinner at the Brdo castle ended with a feeling of discomfort.

Albanian President Bujar Nishani mentioned in his speech that his country did not meddle with the internal affairs of its neighbouring countries. And that’s when it started. Serbian President mentioned the so called Tirana platform without diplomatic manners, as a proof that Nishani played dumb.
That was precisely the document on which the surprised German President asked at that moment. It is an agreement on the request that the Albanian parties in Macedonia will jointly set before new Macedonian Government is formed. Particularly the part of the obligation speaking about certain openness of the Macedonian borders toward Kosovo and Albania, which was immediately compared with a part of the new plan on the formation of a great Albanian state.
In August 2006, Koco Danaj, who claimed to be the political advisor of the then Albanian PM Sali Berisha, which could not be checked, of course and which was mainly denied by all, promoted with great media coverage, the thesis on the right of Albanians to live in a joint state. He was explaining and writing that, following the then held referendum on the independence of Montenegro, the ethnic Albanians in Macedonia and Montenegro also had to demand the same right. The right with whom they wanted to live. That it would be natural that the Albanian parties that participate in the political lives or in governments of those countries had only one government in Albanian capital, Tirana. That was followed by the publication of maps of such as that of a “natural” Albanian state and, a few years later, the letter that was allegedly sent to various political addresses. I received it from the editorial board of an influential regional newspaper. The thesis in the message was similar to the first. If the Serbs in Bosnia and Herzegovina had the right to speak about the secession and merging with Serbia, then Albanians in Montenegro could also demand self-determination and unification with Albania. Two years ago he intended to present the book with a similar initiative regarding the Albanian national question to Tahir Veli in Greece, Serbia and Montenegro, but he was more or less prevented.
Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov accused Kosovo’s PM Hashim Thaci, last Saturday at Brdo castle, in the continuation of the debate, that he allowed armed, radical elements to get into his state, that the only goal was a great-Albanian policy, fragmenting of his state and that the international community allowed that.
Yet, the debate at Brdo, with its ominous tone, had a better side also. Last Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel revived her plan of infrastructural investments in the region and it was probably because of Steinmeier’s question inter alia. Her Marshall Plan.

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