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Albanian Prime Minister Visits RFE/RL, Calls for Unchanged Kosovo Border

(Prague, Czech Republic — March 28, 2006) Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha visited Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Broadcast Operations Center in Prague yesterday, where he reaffirmed that his country is opposed to Kosovo joining any neighboring country.

Berisha said “Albania, as has been its long-standing policy, supports the position of the international community, including the United Nations, against any change of borders or a return to the situation before 1999 and is against the idea of Kosovo joining any neighboring countries.”

Berisha made the statement during an interview with the Kosovo subunit of RFE/RL’s South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service. The service broadcasts 90 minutes of Albanian language programming to Kosovo, a largely-Albanian region of Serbia that has been under UN administration since 1999. Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo are seeking independence, a move that the government of Serbia and Montenegro opposes; representatives of both sides are currently engaged in UN-sponsored negotiations to resolve Kosovo’s final status.

Berisha said, in the RFE/RL studio, that “Albania supports the return of Serb minorities and other displaced persons to Kosovo and has given full support to the dialogue between Prishtina and Belgrade. Albania is convinced that the only solution that brings peace and stability to Kosovo is one that respects the will of the people of Kosovo for self-determination, the independence of Kosovo.”

Berisha spent more than one hour meeting with RFE/RL broadcasters to the Balkans and touring the RFE/RL broadcast center. He made the visit during a one-day trip to Prague, to meet the Czech president and prime minister for talks on bi-lateral relations. A report on Berisha’s comments can be found on RFE/RL’s website.

RFE/RL’s South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service (SSALS) broadcasts nearly 12 hours of programming a day to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia, produced in Prague and in the service’s bureaus in Belgrade, Banja Luka, Podgorica, Prishtina, Sarajevo and Skopje and transmitted to listeners via satellite and shortwave signals and AM and FM frequencies provided by local affiliate stations. SSALS programming is also available via the Internet, at the service’s websites, and and at; English-language news about events in Kosovo can also be found on the RFE/RL website.