Local Press DigestAlbania
TIRANA, Apr 26, 2000 (Rtr)
Prime Minister Ilir Meta thanked outgoing Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema for his contribution to strengthening bilateral ties and Italy's support in European institutions.
President Rexhep Meidani awarded NATO's Supreme Commander for Europe, U.S. General Wesley Clark, the highest Albanian medal for foreigners named after the national mediaeval hero Gjergj Kastriot Skanderbeg.
General Clark said in Tirana that Albania and its government altered the course of history in the region last year when it sheltered almost half a million Kosovo refugees.
President Meidani said ships detained in Albania's biggest port of Durres on suspicion of smuggling should be removed to a military port in order not to hinder the normal flow of goods.
Elbasan's chief of police Edmond Koseni, who became famous for arresting many gang leaders, has been accused of mistreating suspects.
The United Nations mission in Kosovo has removed the right of Albanians living near the border to enter Kosovo with an identity card. They will now have to show a passport.
Police seized 13 Kurdish nationals who entered Albania from Kosovo and were heading for the southern city of Vlore, where mafia-run speed boats depart for the Italian coast.
Foreign Minister Paskal Milo, on a visit to the Western leaning Yugoslav republic of Montenegro, urged Albanians living there to vote for current President Milo Djukanovic, who wants greater independence from Serbia.
Prime Minister Ilir Meta warned road construction companies he would cancel their contracts if they failed to respect deadlines or quality standards.
The Ministry of Public Economy and Privatization is considering whether to award a concession on Albania's biggest chromium mine Bulqize to an Italian company.