The Geostrategy of a Protocol, Meta in Italy
By Sadri Ramabaja
Albanian Daily News
Published September 18, 2017
The President of the Republic was visiting Italy with the invitation of the President of the Republic of Italy, Sergio Matarella. In addition to a tete-a-tete meeting with his counterpart, he also had meetings with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Laura Boldrini and after that with Senate President Pietro Grasso.
However, the first visit abroad of the President of the Republic has its own symbolism for the policies this country purports to pursue.
In terms of national interests, not just those of the state, Italy remains the partner with whom Albanians share not only political and cultural values, but also strategic interests.
Ilir Meta is seen in the European political environment, the Italian one included, as the politician with the longest institutional experience in the Albanian political scene.
Being one of the leaders who inherited the political and academic experience not only of his parent, known as a party’s loyal political commissar, but also that of his professors in the field of political economy, Ilir Meta comes to the top of the pyramid of power at a relatively young age.
As a participant of the Students Movement of December (1990), in the quality of a young active man in the Socialist Party, he will be elected MP at the age of 23 in the first Parliament (1992) after the system changes, respectively after the inauguration of liberal democracy. At the age of 30, Meta takes over the role of Prime Minister, returning to this position after creating his political force (Socialist Movement for Integration) after leaving the Socialist Party.
Meanwhile he will dominate the Albanian political scene as a balancing figure of power, taking over the direction of Foreign Affairs Ministry or that of Ministry of Economy. His role will be significant both in Kosovo and Macedonia, both during the period of liberation of Kosovo and the armed conflict in Macedonia, and then in the relations between the political elite with very controversial interests in Kosovo and totally inexperienced in Macedonia.
Knowing the interests and the geostrategic conflicts of the superpowers in the region, the new allegations of restoring Belgrade's domination in the region between the so-called Berlin Process and ‘his creature’ – The Economic Integration Zone, especially the ideological tutors of this creature, the visit of the President of the Republic to Italy takes on a historical character.
Even in the climax of the Cold War Albania's safety provided some sort of security for Italy. The departure of Russian submarines from Vlora’s Pashaliman (1962), already a historical fact, enabled Italy to breathe freely, while the Italian economy and thus the welfare of the people enjoyed a consolidated growth for many years.
It seems that the hosts of the Albanian president in Rome, while I re-emphasize the well known formula that "Albania's safety is Italy’s security", surely appreciate the contribution of Albania to this consolidation.
During an informal communication with the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Matarella, Meta expressed his wish for a joint visit next to the Arberesh community, the evergreen branch of the Albanian trunk.
This visit would have a gratifying double character, Meta said to his host Matarella, first of all because they are worthy citizens of Italy, though they remain dedicated Albanians and extremely interested in the prosperity of their ancestral homeland, while an additional reason is that in 2018 Albanian have the commemoration year of Gjergj Kastrioti - Skanderbeg.
Through this proposal, Ilir Meta on one side reminded us all that the Arbëresh were those who preserved Skanderbeg and his history to Albanians, but also the European affiliation of Albanians through Skanderbeg.
Meanwhile, he also implied without any ambiguity to the hosts that the West and not Turkey is a strategic priority for Albania and Albanians.
In the efforts of the superpowers in the east and the placement centers for flattening national identities, either through the economy (Economic Integration Zone), whether through the march of neo-Ottomanism and political Islam, the geostrategic orientations that would contribute to preserving the sovereignty of Albania and the consolidation of the Nation, gain additional historical value.
This visit should also be seen from this point of view of interest and geostrategic orientation. In this wave of clashes of interests, where geopolitics has its role, the consolidation of democracy as a constitutional-juridical order, in both Albanian Republics (Republic of Albania and Republic of Kosovo), along with the Republic of Macedonia, as a sphere of Albanian national vital interests - is the immediate task of this generation of Albanian politicians.
History has given to Ilir Meta the opportunity to be one of those statesmen who would give the proper geostrategic orientation to the Albanian State and Nation. This visit proved this fact.
A consecutive visit to Switzerland, where the Republic of Albania could borrow the political system from, extending it further into the Republic of Kosovo and Macedonia, would mark the second step towards the Albanian Federation, thereby a full consolidation of the Nation.