Macedonian Albanian leader calls for unification of Albanian-populated regions
BBC Monitoring Europe (Political) - December 13, 2005 Tuesday

Text of report in English by Macedonian news agency Makfax

Arben Xhaferri, the leader of largest Albanian opposition party in Macedonia [Democratic Party of Albanians, DPA - PDSh in Albanian], called for unification of territories populated by Albanians, noting that Albania should unite with Kosovo and western Macedonia.

Makfax news agency quotes Xhaferri as saying in Tirana that unification of Albanian territories in a single state is in the context of resolving Albanian issue, which holds the key to resolution of the crisis in the region.

"Albanian issue is not a fiction or romanticism but reality. The process of assimilation of Albanians has been brought to a halt. The process of major move-out is also brought to a halt, and now all we have to do is to comprehend the reality," Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA) leader Arben Xhaferri said in an interview to Albanian television Klan.

Asked by the journalist whether his concept might sound extreme and trigger negative impact on Albanians at time when the international community made clear that there will be no shifting of borders in the region, Xhaferri said "the inviolability of borders is a technical issue aimed to halt violence, however, the right to self-determination is much above the border issue."

Xhaferri said another argument that backs his position is the fact that "since establishing of the United Nations, the state borders across the world have been changed on more than 180 occasions".

The visiting DPA leader Arben Xhaferri attends a roundtable meeting on Albanian issues, organized by the Institute of Dialogue and Communications.

Source: Makfax news agency, Skopje, in English 1243 gmt 13 Dec 05

Copyright 2005 British Broadcasting Corporation
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