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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » November 18, 2009
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Albanian Aspirations
November 18, 2009   
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H. E. Florent Celiku, Albania's ambassador to Poland, talks to Ewa Hancock.

Poland and Albania are very different countries, but do you see any similarities between the two?
Strong historic relationships exist: both nations battled for centuries for independence, consequently both Poles and Albanians appreciate freedom.

The current friendly ties between Poland and Albania are solid, successful, and expanding. We have seen successful visits by the Speakers of the Polish Sejm (upper house of parliament) and Senate to Tirana, and in terms of bilateral relations there have been many important political, military and economic events.

Our countries have had similarly dramatic experiences of communism after World War II, and enjoyed even spiritual ties, reaching a peak with the unforgettable friendship of Pope John Paul II, who hailed from Poland, and Mother Teresa, who hailed from Albania.

I can conclude that the similarities are greater than the differences between our countries. Albania and Poland, as members of the European Union will cooperate even more closely, as strong allies.

Albania is one of the newest members of NATO. How are Poland and Albania working together within the organization?
What is of significant importance and much appreciated by the Albanians is the unconditional, full support of Poland for Albania on the road toward Euro-Atlantic integration, to membership in NATO, which was a great achievement.

The military men and women of our armed forces, shoulder to shoulder with Polish soldiers, would be proud to be present everywhere where NATO fights for freedom and democracy.

What would you highlight as your country's biggest asset in terms of tourism?
Lying in the heart of the Mediterranean, Albania is fast becoming one of the world's most interesting getaways. Polish tourists will notice an inspiring mixture of civilizations and cultures, making this European country unique.

The country enjoys an average of around 300 sunny days each year. Besides coastal tourism, due to its diverse climate and pristine landscapes, Albania has a great variety of plants and is home to a number of rare birds and animals.

Albania has several regions (the Albanian Alps and Riviera) where mountain and rural tourism is well developed.

Albania, with its cultural heritage values, continues to be an attractive and open "museum." Situated between two major ancient civilizations, the Greek and Roman, Albania with its Illyrian civilization inherited an invaluable treasure of cultural heritage that belongs to the world.

The interest of Polish citizens in the tourist attractions of Albania is increasing continuously. Thousands of Polish citizens now visit Albania as tourists and travelers.

I came away with positive impressions from a recent visit to the Albanian stand at the International Fair of Tourism in Poznań, where important Polish agencies showed much interest in Albanian destinations.
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