site.btaVP Takes Part in "Bulgarians in Albania" Book Presentation in Tirana on Eve of 1st Census since Recognition of Bulgarian Minority
Vice President Iliana Iotova participated in the presentation of Prof. Spas Tashev's book Bulgarians in Albania, in Tirana. Representatives of the diplomatic corps in Albania and representatives of the Bulgarian national minority also attended the presentation of the book at the Council of Ministers in Tirana.
"One of the most important criteria for membership in the European Union is respect for the rights of all ethnic communities. Unlike another neighboring country, with which we have serious problems, the Albanian authorities have proven that they respect the right of the various ethnic communities in the country to preserve and defend their identity, to develop their language and traditions. The European Union is all about rights and where they are not respected, it is not the EU," said Iotova
The presentation of the book is on the eve of the national population census in Albania, the first one since the recognition of the Bulgarian national minority in 2017. During her meetings at the highest level in the Albanian capital, Vice President Iotova received assurances that the process will be carried out transparently and all ethnic communities will be able to freely state their identity.
For his part, Prof. Spas Tashev pointed out the attempts of the Republic of North Macedonia to impose the thesis that there are no Bulgarians in Albania. Tashev shared information about systematic threats to Bulgarians from Albania, as well as about falsification of historical data in order to turn the local population against Bulgaria.
Tashev stated that he has information about possible intervention by representatives of pro-Macedonian organizations with the aim of changing the ethnicity of people who will participate in the national census in Albania.
Tashev added that the book is an analysis of the friendship between the Albanian and Bulgarian populations (in Albania) "and the obstacles created by other countries in the Balkans, with the aim of spoiling the Bulgarian-Albanian friendship".
Vice-President Iotova identified Tashev's book Bulgarians in Albania as an important document that contributes to getting to know each other. "When people know each other better, they solve problems more easily. The book is important for politicians - to answer many questions, to avoid many conflicts today and in the future. The book is of great importance for the memory of our generations," said Iotova.
Iotova stressed the many areas that unite Bulgaria and Albania, and focused on the anniversaries that Bulgarian-Albanian relations are celebrating this year - the 110th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the 30th anniversary of the signing of the cooperation agreement between the two countries.
Earlier, the Vice President spoke with the rector of the University of Tirana, Prof. Artan Hoxha. The meeting was also attended by professors from Bulgarian universities and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, who are part of the delegation led by the Vice President during her visit to Albania. They proposed specific projects between Bulgarian and Albanian universities and the scientific community.