09/07/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/08/2021 01:50
Albania remains a worthy ally of NATO and of strategic partners. This will was expressed by Defense Minister Niko Peleshi, during the conversation with the Defense Minister of the Republic of Latvia Artis Pabriks, who is in Tirana on an official visit.
Defense Minister Peleshi stressed the fact that Albania immediately responded to the NATO call and has contributed with troops in the framework of NATO enhanced Forward Presence (eFP), on its eastern border since 2017, while the Albanian EOD contingent remains engaged side by side with Alliance forces as part of the Canadian-led multinational battalion. He mentioned the tragic incident that occurred in Camp Ādaži, where two of our military members, Major Klodian Tanushi and Sergeant Zarife Hasanaj, lost their lives, an event that further strengthened the connection between the two countries.
During the conversation with the Latvian counterpart, Defense Minister Peleshi also spoke about the events in Afghanistan, where Albania decided to side the USA.
'Our country supported NATO's decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. However, given the recent development, we could not do more than reaffirm our commitment. Albania is ready and has no hesitation to face its share of the burden. A weight that, in our opinion, should also be carried by the other countries of the Alliance. To date, over 600 Afghan citizens have found refuge in our country and we have clearly expressed our full will and readiness to receive others in need.'
Further, Minister Peleshi said that our security challenges remain common, indivisible and comprehensive. They come from all directions and can undermine security and stability in our region and beyond.
The Ministry of Defense of Albania praises the deployment of the Latvian Armed Forces in the KFOR mission in Kosovo, as a major contribution to the stability of the Western Balkans. According to Minister Peleshi, Kosovo's support for its aspirations towards membership in international organizations, contributing to the strengthening of peace and security, encourages the development of the region and inhibits the expansion of the influence of other countries that challenge democracy in the Western Balkans.