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27. November 2017.

Medvedja - Ilir Meta, the President of the Republic of Albania, came to the Republic of Serbia for a private visit of the municipality of Medvedja, which was done at the initiative of the Albanian side, and with the agreement of the Serbian authorities and the Embassy of the Republic of Serbia in Tirana. Zoran Stankovic, the President of the Coordination Body for the Municipalities of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, and Nebojsa Arsic, the Mayor of Medvedja, met President Meta at the administrative crossing at Mutivode. 

On that occasion, Zoran Stankovic said that, regardless of the fact that the visit was a private one, a meeting and a working lunch were an opportunity to discuss with President Meta several important topics for the three municipalities inhabited by the Albanians.

“We acquainted the President of the Republic of Albania with the issue of 35 textbooks from Albania, as well as with eight more textbooks related to the national culture and values ​​of the Albanians, which are still to be included in teaching. Another important topic of discussion was related to the symbols of the Albanian national minority. We have already requested from its representatives to propose a solution, but we have not yet received a proposal of the coat of arms and other symbols from them, "Mr. Stankovic said.

Mr. Stankovic said that the year before, the Albanian National Council had signed with the Minister of Education in the Government of the Republic of Serbia  an agreement on another 35 textbooks from Albania and on eight more textbooks dedicated to the study of national culture. However, the Albanian National Council did not propose translators for the Serbian language, which is a necessary procedure, after which the Serbian Ministry of Education could approve the textbooks for use. That is why they were not included in teaching at the beginning of the current school year.

Ilir Meta, the President of the Republic of Albania, said in Medvedja that he was very pleased that he could send a message about working together and cooperating.

“This is a new epoch in the relations and cooperation between Serbia and Albania and the peoples of those two countries, "President Meta said.

President Meta said that he was pleased with the way he had been received in Medvedja by the local authorities and representatives of the government of Serbia, as well as by the talks with the  councilors, municipal leadership, representatives of the Coordination Body and by representatives of the Albanian diaspora. 

"The topics discussed in the meetings were different, while our tendency is to strengthen our cooperation. You may rest assured that the local self-government is in a position to do a lot regarding the improving of both the development capacities and interpersonal relationships.  I'll ask the Mayor to come with his associates to Tirana, so that we could continue our cooperation on a solid basis. The cooperation is in the interest of all citizens of Medvedja," President Meta said. 

President Meta strolled from the "Geyser" hotel to the unique natural mineral water geyser with a  complex of pools below the hotel. At that  spot, the President of Albania, during an informal talk with Mr. Stankovic and Mr. Arsic, suggested greater cooperation between the two countries in the field of tourism "for the sake of reciprocity" since, as he said, more and more Serbs were visiting Albania for touristic purposes.

Mr. Stankovic and Mr. Arsic suggested that joint events between the two countries could be organized in the field of culture, adding that they already existed in many forms in Medvedja.

President Meta had brought a liter of brandy from his native city in Albania, so that a toast to a better future was proposed at the meeting. 

Source: “Politika” daily, Scradar and Coordination Body