Diplomatic spat in Albania meeting

Diplomatic spat in Albania meeting

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Diplomatic spat in Albania meeting

The Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey head Rızanur Meral (2nd R) poses with Albanian Parliamentary Speaker Jozefina Topalli at a Tirana event. Courtesy of TUSKON

The General Assembly of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC) failed to meet after pressures by Serbia and Russia not to allow Kosovo’s Assembly Chairman Jakup Krasniqi to participate, according to a Nov. 23 report by Albania’s daily Shqip.

The assembly meeting was supposed to last for three days in Tirana, the capital of Albania, which holds the PABSEC presidency. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergej Lavrov announced at the last minute that he would not go to the meeting, for reasons that are still unknown, the daily wrote.

According to the same report, Serbia’s Parliament announced in its official website that there had been efforts to include Krasniqi in the meeting of PABSEC’s permanent committee, which gathers prior to the opening of the Assembly’s plenary session, but “the idea had been prevented.”

Delegations of Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Armenia, Moldavia, Romania, Russia and Ukraine voted against Krasniqi’s participation in the meeting whereas Turkey’s delegation has abstained, according to the Serbian Parliament’s statement, Shqip wrote. This situation has caused the cancellation of the PABSEC meeting, the statement added.

The Albanian Parliament, on the other hand, said the cancellation of the meeting was because of “technical issues.”

“After PABSEC’s bureau meeting on the evening [of Nov.23], the steering committee meeting, which consists of leaders of the PABSEC member state delegations, decided that the draft-agenda for the meeting was unsuitable,” the Albanian parliament said in a statement. As the draft agenda prepared by PABSEC secretariat was not approved and there was no alternative agenda, the meeting was postponed to a later date, the statement said, according to the Shqip report.

Some 400 businessmen also went to Tirana with the delegations of PABSEC member states to seek cooperation and trade opportunities, according to a statement on the Albanian Parliament’s website.