Albania backs "platform of Albanians in Macedonia"
Albania supports "the platform of the Albanian political factor in Macedonia," says Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati.Source: Tanjug
"We have supported the platform of the Albanian political factor in Macedonia in an effort to implement the unimplemented Ohrid Agreement, create a Euro-Atlantic path for Macedonia, and improve relations with its neighbors," said Bushati.
He thinks "there is still room for discussion in Macedonia" and that the inter-ethnic crisis "will not intensify."
As reported by Albanian media, Bushati believes that the roots of the crisis lie in political and democratic reasons, while "anti-Albanian rhetoric" of former Macedonian PM Nikola Gruevski and the country' President Gjorge Ivanov "brought it to the surface."
Bushati said that Gruevski's VMRO-DPMNE party and Ivanov have been "using the platform of Albanian parties as an alibi" but that the reasons for concern lie "on the other side."
As reported, three major Albanian parties in Macedonia on January 7 agreed on a common platform for negotiations on a new Macedonian government, which among other things provides for Albanians to be recognized as "a state-making population," along with the full equality of the Albanian language, while ethnic equality should also be reflected in Macedonia's state symbols.
This document has been unofficially referred to as the Tirana Platform because the leaders of the Albanian parties met in Tirana, under the auspices of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.
Leader of the Albanian DUI party Talat Xhaferi, whose election last week, contested by the VMRO-DPMNE, led to violence in Macedonia's assembly, told Croatia's state television that "the Tirana Platform that is a threat to Macedonia does not exist."