(osce) - The OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, welcomed today the agreement of the political parties in Albania on a compromise that opens the way for local government elections to be held within the recognized legal deadline.
The Chairman-in-Office said he valued the immense effort at mediating the agreement by President Alfred Moisiu.
"I acknowledge the sense of responsibility shown by all the parties in Albania in choosing the path of constructive dialogue that led to a negotiated solution," said Minister Moratinos, reports Trend.
"This undoubtedly contributes to consolidating democratic institutions and practices. I urge all the political parties to continue this approach by adopting in parliament the amendments deriving from this pact and carrying on with other election preparations without any further delay."
The Chairman-in-Office noted he had sent a personal envoy, the Director General for Europe and North America, Ambassador Jose Pons, to assist in the search for a compromise after a request for assistance from the political parties in Albania.
Minister Moratinos said he considered the agreed reforms an important step in ensuring free and fair elections in the framework of a reform process that must continue until completed.
The OSCE, through the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission, will closely monitor the development of the electoral process, assess it and make recommendations for the future.
"The agreement on these elections has set the foundation for the normal development of elections in the future," the Chairman-in-Office said. "I encourage the Albanian government and opposition political parties to maintain this spirit of consensus and respect for the rule of law and democratic institutions."