H.E. Saimir Bala, Ambassador of the Republic of Albania to the State of Kuwait
On the occasion of 106th anniversary of the National Day of the Republic of Albania and of 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the Republic of Albania and the State of Kuwait.
It is a great pleasure for me as Ambassador of the Republic of Albania to the State of Kuwait to address you, dear friends, on the occasion of 106th anniversary of the National Day of the Republic of Albania and of 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the Republic of Albania and the State of Kuwait.
Since 1968, when the two countries established diplomatic relations and especially after the beginning of 90s, following the democratic changes in Albania, our bilateral relations have been strengthened constantly. 50 years of bilateral relations means a history of mutual respect and cooperation between two countries and peoples.
The first proposal came from the Albanian side through its Mission in the United Nations to the Kuwaiti Mission in this organization. On 10 April 1968, the Kuwaiti Mission in the UN responded through sending a Note to the Albanian side notifying that the Council of Ministers of the State of Kuwait had approved the establishing of the diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of Albania at that time.
The Albanian government requested publication of a joint declaration between the two parties. Given that it did not receive any answer quickly but the notes were already exchanged between the two countries, on 30 June 1968, the Albanian MFA published in the main official newspaper, ‘Zëri i Popullit’ (People’s Voice), the news for the establishing of the diplomatic relations between the two countries. The Albanian Council of Ministers confirmed it with the decision no 89, dated 3 July, 1968: “We decided to establish diplomatic relations with Kuwait and exchange diplomatic representatives in the rank of Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary ambassadors. This decision enters into force immediately”. On 8 August 1968, responded the Kuwaiti Embassy in Cairo through a Note in which it states that Kuwaiti MFA agrees for the joint declaration but prefers to do it after the summer season. This is the last document which closes the folder on this issue.
Speaking about the relations between our two countries that have been consolidating constantly especially after 90s, I wish to underline that Albania was the first country which has strongly condemned Iraq invasion of Kuwait back in 1990 and was in full support of the military intervention of the United States led forces for the liberation of Kuwait.
During these years many high-level visits were exchanged between two countries in which I can mention the official visits of the former President of Albania, of the former Speaker of Parliament of Albania, of the former Speaker of National Assembly of Kuwait, of former Prime Minister of Kuwait, of the Prime Minister of Albania, including also other official visits from the members of cabinets of the both countries. Soon our president is coming to visit Kuwait. A lot of bilateral agreements were signed between two countries. I use this opportunity to highly appreciate the support of Amir of State of Kuwait His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait government, and especially Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development for many projects implemented in Albania.
During the recent years, Albania has been focusing more on the development of tourism. The favorable geographic position of Albania, as a Mediterranean country, with many touristic resorts in the mountainous areas and museum cities made it an attractive country for the tourists. This year, about five million tourists visited Albania according to official sources.
Albania’s seaside has a length of 450km, with many gulfs, which allows for its great potential in the field of seashore tourism and makes it the main source of tourism in that country. Albania has a considerable number of beaches with fine sand and pines, as well as rocky shores, along the coast of the Adriatic Sea and the Ionian Sea, where within minutes tourists can experience the mountain climate of Llogara and warmth of the coast of Dhermi, a feat made possible by the country’s impressive natural features.
Albania is known for its riviera with beautiful beaches, especially Himara, Borsh and Dhermi beaches. In this area, I would like to distinguish the location called ‘Blue Eye Spring’, (Syri i Kaltër), an unexpected oasis in the middle of nowhere, that is a natural spring where crystal clear water bubbles up from 50 meters below the surface. The frigid water gently passes over the white sand producing a stunning turquoise color which turns into a pretty green as it travels around the mountains.
I want to mention the wonderful underwater caves of Viroi Lake (Gjirokastra city) as well. It is a natural underwater treasure and has a depth of 249 meters and is surrounded by wild pines on the outside. Albania has important resources for the touristic enjoyment of its mountainous areas. The Albanian Alps to the North, the mountains along the Ionian Sea, the Krujë, Berat, (called ‘the city of a thousand windows’), Gjirokaster (a historic UNESCO-listed town surrounded on all sides by stunning mountain ranges), Saranda, etc., offer great opportunities to receive tourists during the year, including winter, which has a mild climate.
We encourage Kuwaiti citizens to visit Albania throughout the whole year and particularly during the summer season. This is the third year in which Kuwaiti citizens can travel without visa to Albania. Kuwaiti citizens are welcomed to invest and establish their businesses too, in Albania. There are several successful Kuwaiti investments but there is much more to explore, as Albania offers several opportunities in many fields.
Long live Kuwait, long live Albania!