Let us respect the agreements reached, let us succeed in the communities in this country to be masters of their destinies, so that neither the language nor the culture of the other bothers us. All the promotion of the language and culture of the other is the progress of the state. The more loyal the state is to the citizens, the more loyal the citizens in the country are. We still have a lot to do and we will do.
This is the message that DUI leader Ali Ahmeti sent at today’s conference on “After Ohrid”, on the occasion of 20 years since the signing of the Ohrid Framework Agreement.
- The full implementation and application of the Ohrid Peace Agreement, the Prespa Agreement and the Good Neighbor Agreement with Bulgaria to apply from point to point all obligations to be uncompromising in the fight against corruption and crime. We have Europe close to the threshold, but we have to do the tasks ourselves. We are a NATO member country, we need to erase in our heads that classic autonomy or independence. There is no classical autonomy or independence when you enter into alliances and partnerships with the EU and you have to apply the norms, the rules to everyone. The younger you get, the bigger you get. We are now the same as the largest in NATO, but we need to set NATO standards, because we have sought to become a member of NATO. I’m sure we can achieve, stressed Ahmeti.
He stressed that they have great historical responsibilities, and as a political party to work with people to overcome prejudices.
- Even in this country there are stereotypes and prejudices. There are still interests that are motivated by ideologies and countries that do not want our country to prosper, but want their influence to dominate our country. We have no other alternative, said Ahmeti.
In his speech, he referred to the time before the signing of the Ohrid Framework Agreement.
- It was an opportunity to surprise not only the state but also the international community what is happening one morning in the Republic of Macedonia. Normally I belonged to the student organization and movement, there is no student movement on earth that wants military action. Everywhere the student movements are peaceful, progressive, for democracy, for authentic and true democracy, for consensus and dialogue, and I belonged and was one of the organizers of this student movement that led these developments in 81-82. Our demands at that time were stifled with iron, with blood. Hundreds of students, thousands of students were imprisoned. At that time we made a request to study in our country in Skopje to open a university in Albanian language, said Ahmeti.
All our demands, he added, were rewarded with imprisonment, murder, repression, arrest, and the birth of pluralism in the 90s.
- Exactly we, as leaders of the student movements, had made a political organization with one newspaper, the only opposition newspaper in the then Yugoslavia. The only opposition organization that demanded justice, equality, democracy for all citizens. But we were not allowed to act legally, and then the legal movement appeared, we supported that movement with the best intention that the changes would happen, that there would be improvements, but we were disappointed, said Ahmeti.
He stressed that in our country the Constitution was violated then, which used to recognize Albanians as a constitutive element of the state, equal rights for all, although unfortunately, as he said, it was only on paper and those who were on paper were eliminated.
- The Albanians, not only us, as representatives of that resistance movement at that time, but also the Albanians in general were disappointed. They started through protests, civil revolts to seek higher education in their home country. These demands were stifled with blood. Protests over national symbols began and also suffocated in blood. Albanians were not looking for weapons, they were looking for education, they were not looking for tanks, they were looking for books to study. Albanians were looking for ethnic symbols that they used to have even under socialism, and they were not looking for gunpowder, pointed out Ahmeti.
The bad, he says, happened, the revolt escalated and they were in a position to bring the situation under control.
- It was not easy for me or my comrades because this country was known as an oasis of peace and because of the Albanian representatives until then who failed to significantly convince the international community to make things better and to progress. Although we were aware that the Albanians here were marginalized in the Parliament and were just a service and only whispered what was said from above. The war could not be stopped and this movement would not be stopped. But the thing was, the direction had to be good and right, said Ahmeti.
I am sure, added the DUI leader, that NATO, EU, USA, understood that things in this country will go in a bad direction, out of control and gave powers to representatives to start negotiations and not to repeat BiH and Kosovo. According to him, the NATO alliance has the greatest credit for this.
- At this stage, initial, I was in a very difficult position to give or to the international community and the domestic public, the platform we are looking for. It took a well-prepared platform and a nationally and internationally protected process well thought out and written. A few drafts brought to me by several lawyers did not cover that and the headquarters we were looking for. Then, through several friends, we got in touch with experts in the field of law, but also on international legal provisions, Paul Williams, to whom I am very grateful, we met, I listened to him for hours, we met again, we exchanged opinions again, then again meeting after meeting a good proposal was made with which I agreed if you remember Paul Williams I signed it with both name and signature that I accept that decision. I have fully accepted the peace agreement in Ohrid and all NATO and EU representatives are witnesses to this, said Ahmeti.
Emphasize that they have gone through many hardships and tribulations.
- The biggest difficulty that would be tragic for both Albanians and Macedonians would be the division of this country. Then 20 years ago this option was on the table and I will be grateful to NATO, Washington and Brussels that we found strength, support against this tragic option with unpredictable consequences for our citizens, concluded Ahmeti.