Albanian Daily News
Thaci meets top officials in Tirana

Albanian Economic Tribune - Jan 13, 2000

TIRANA - The visiting Kosovo Albanian leader Hashim Thaci met on Tuesday and Wednesday Albania’s top officials and discussed ways and means to "strengthen ever more" the cooperation between Tirana and Prishtina.

President Rexhep Meidani met Thaci, a member of the joint provincial administration with UN representatives and head of the Democratic Progress Party (PPDK), on Tuesday. Thaci, former head of the Kosovo Liberation Army, told the President that the situation in Kosovo has largely improved "when compared to the past."

Reports from the Thaci meetings were sketchy and all sides reported only the indispensable.

Thaci said he explained to Meidani how the interim administrative council works. The mixed organisation - both United Nations officials and Kosovars are taking part in it - would work as an executive institution. It will have several departments, resembling ministries directed jointly by a local and a UN official.

Hashim Thaci’s party will run jointly with UNMIK the department of commerce and industry and the local government. Kosovo Serbs would also have a representative in the new body, but so far they have shown no willingness to cooperate with the planned body.

The administration was set up last month to allow Kosovars to help run their province, which has been under the control of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) since NATO-led forces occupied Kosovo in June last year.

Meidani said it was "indispensable" to improve the cooperation between Kosovo Albanian political forces within this institution, as well as with the international factor. "This cooperation should be further strengthened," said the President. "The creation of the Kosovar institutions and the development of a normal institutional life in Kosovo should be encouraged," he said.

Spokesmen also said that the two had discussed steps needed to be taken "to strengthen and institutionalise the cooperation between Albania and Kosovo."

Thaci also met Premier Ilir Meta, top officials from parliament and leaders of the main political parties.

Meta told the ethnic Albanian leader that he hoped a multi-ethnic Kosovo would be built on the ashes of Serbian apartheid. "I wish you good work in the interim council, and may the establishment of this council pave the way to a multi-ethnic Kosovo," Meta said.

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