( OSCE )The OSCE has played an important role in Albania's democratic transition and the relationship will remain close as the country works to achieve its two main foreign policy goals of membership in European and Euro-Atlantic structures, Albanian Foreign Minister Besnik Mustafaj said.
As a sign of Albania's commitment to the OSCE and the progress the country has made, Albania would offer to chair the Organization in 2012, the Minister reiterated to the Permanent Council, the Organization's main political decision-making body.
"In overcoming the obstacles Albania has encountered in its path of transition, in facing current and future challenges and in progressing further ahead, the Albanian authorities have had and will continue to maintain close relations with the OSCE and its participating States," said Minister Mustafaj.
The Minister outlined progress made in Albania, for example on fighting organized crime, and work still to be done to deepen and consolidate reforms. He also said close co-operation with neighbours was a high priority for Albania, through OSCE activities and bilaterally.
If Albania chaired the OSCE, it would contribute substantially to further strengthening the credibility, reliability, role and work of the Organization in achieving common goals, Minister Mustafaj said.
"Expected consent by the OSCE participating States will ensure that, for the first time ever, the Chairmanship will be held by a Western Balkans country," he said.