“Before the bomb and after the bomb, we have done all the things by collaborating with Washington and Brussels, because our aim is to be integrated in the NATO and EU and that is why they are our partners”
By Ali Ahmeti
Leader of the Democratic Union for Integration Party in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
We and the Euro Atlantic community share the same values, the same scope and we are joined by the same interest. And this is the integration of our country in the NATO and European Union.
When our interests are in line, it’s normal for collaboration to be the same as it has been and will be.
In spite of dramatic developments in Ukraine and Middle East, Macedonia and West Balkan made a strong comeback in the Washington and Brussels’ agenda as pending issues.
Here, I would like to mention the declaration issued by the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, who without any equivoque, said that Macedonia is in the red line of fire in the clashes between the American and European interests in front of Russian interests. But at the same time, Russian Foreign Minister declared that NATO’s expansion with Western Balkan countries, including Macedonia, poses a threat for Russian state interests.
After so many developments and coordination of activities for the solution of the name dispute, Skopje saw a political crisis with the so called bombs.
Before the bomb and after the bomb, we have done all the things by collaborating with Washington and Brussels, because our aim is to be integrated in the NATO and EU and that is why they are our partners.
This is why in my first public appearance about the new situation, I demanded international monitoring with a team of legal experts and investigators.
I also asked for nothing to remain enigmatic and for the curiosity of the public to be satisfied, therefore, I am repeating it today in front of you: everything that exists on the Democratic Union for Integration must be unveiled. Every conversation that I’ve had, work related or personal, can be published. I, my friends, do not use double standards in politics. I speak what I think. I act upon what I say. Our stances and policies are sustainable and transparent. We have no other agenda.
This is why we see the solution of the political crisis in immediately setting up political dialogue between the sides with the intermediacy of the European Union, in collaboration with Washington.
Democratic Union for Integration must join this political dialogue, because no solution can be sustainable in Macedonia without the participation of the second largest community in the country.
We strongly believe that this dialogue must also produce national consensus over the need of the solution of the name dispute through constructive contribution not only by the involved sides, but also from the media, civil society and academic world.
This will allow us to come back to our agenda of Euro-Atlantic integration that we unveiled during the creation of the governing coalition and which we promised to the citizens. This is what the citizens expect from us and we must find new windows of opportunities even at a time of crisis.
We must come back to the most important agenda for our country and come out of this crisis strong, with democratic institutions, equal rule of law, with an entirely independent judicial system and prosecution, with freedom of speech and of the media.
We have always been part of the solution of problems and challenges in this country and not only part of the problem.
The problems that we face can only be solved in an institutional way, therefore BDI is part of the institutional solution of serious issues that we face.
Let us take an example of the differences that we have with Macedonian parties over the interpretation of the Constitution, when it comes to the Albanian language.
The Constitution says that if a language is used by more than 20% of the population, then it’s an official language in Macedonia. There’s no room for different interpretations here, but this speaks a lot about their readiness to embrace the spirit of the Ohrid Agreement.
We must change and remove prejudices, while VMRO and SDSM must find the strength to demonstrate leadership in order to work and accept the Ohrid Agreement, equal Macedonia, Macedonia of everyone is the only Macedonia of mine, Nikola and Zoran.
Democratic Union for Integration has built a partnership with the media and has shown respect for the freedom of speech, because we believe that the media are an important part of the education of the citizens and generations, transformation and emancipation of society.
This is a moment to express our determination in continuing to build a partnership with the international community for the NATO and EU accession and continue our work in order to fully implement the Ohrid Agreement and also meet the citizens on a regular basis.
*This is the opinion of the leader of the Albanian party in power BDI held in the last party congress in Skopje
** The opinion of the author doesn’t necessarily represent IBNA’s editorial line