The President: At the 140th anniversary of The League of Prizren, Albanians are at their best historic position

Prishtina, June 8th 2018 – President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, attended today the International Scientific Conference “The Albanian League of Prizren”.

President Thaçi said that he was honoured to participate at the opening of the proceedings of this conference, 140 years after the Albanian League of Prizren, organised by both Kosovo and Albania Academies of Science.

“It is due time for scholars to study and appraise not only the period of our national renaissance, The League of Prizren, but all periods of Albanian history, with scientific objectivity of the modern knowledge. The history, the truth, is only one, incorrigible, while historiography  must be written in compliance with the truth and must be corrected from all ideological influences, censorships  of all types”, said the President.

The head of state said that both our academies of science, 140 years after the League of Prizren, can operate in much more favourable conditions than so far, as there no longer is dictatorship or subjugation.

“League of Prizren was an activity and a result of a new geopolitical situation brought by the eastern crisis. Per the decisions of the treaty of San Stefano, after the withdrawal of the Ottoman Empire from the Balkans, majority of the Albanian lands, already separated by now in many different vilayets, were given to the neighbouring countries. While at the Berlin Congress, when the Great Powers reach decisions, irrespective of the will of the Albanian nation, on the implementation of this decision. Thus, the Albanians were threatened by:  territorial disintegration, assimilation and physical dissipation”, said President Thaçi and added that Albanians did not remain with their arms crossed in front of this new situation.

President Thaçi also emphasized that on June 10th 1878, representatives from all Albanian lands, established a political, military and executive organisation in Prizren, which would counteract the ambition for partitioning of Albanian lands with all means possible.

“The League of Prizren” is the most important political and military organisation of the Albanian nation, established four centuries after the resistance of the Gjergj Kastrioti- Scanderbeg. Many rebellions, memorandums forwarded to the chancelleries of the Great Powers, protests and other forms of resistance where a characteristic of The League of Prizren period”, said President Thaci.

Albanian League of Prizren, according to the President, in the inner field, is the product of the cultural movement, of the National Renaissance.

While in the south of Albania, the cultural conscience was being shaped, the cultural nationalism, President Thaçi said that in the northern parts, daily battle with annexation aspirations of the neighbours was shaping up the state forming consciousness, the political nationalism.

“The Albanian men of renaissance were individuals of rare individualism, who at the time when throughout Albanian lands there was no single cultural and educational institution, laid the foundations of the national consciousness, overcoming provincial and religious divisions” stated President Thaçi.

He also added that National Renaissance formed the awareness for the Albanian national identity, based upon the common linguistic, cultural, traditional and territorial values.

“For this illuminist and intellectual contribution, as always, we are still grateful today to the pleiad of intellectuals who worked with such political determination. We are exceptionally grateful to many other writers who nurtured the literature, drafted political tracts, developed Albanian language, started cultural magazines and established clubs, and took over the Latin alphabet and the values of the European civilisation” said President Thaçi.

Side by side with the men of culture, we must also highly praise the crucial individuals of the League of Prizren, its ideologue Abdyl Frashëri, the Head of the interim government, Ymer Prizreni, Commander of the Army of the League of Prizren, Sylejman Vokshi and many other patriots, who in all their wisdom and vision acted towards the dangers threatening the bare survival of our nation.

“With its activities, Albanian League of Prizren, drew the attention of foreign diplomats and consuls, and proved that Albanians were mobilising and would not allow the implementation of the unfair international agreements which were tearing up their ethnic spaces. National Renaissance and the 19th century Albanian League of Prizren, only partially rounded up the ideals of the Albanians at the beginning of the 20th century, through the establishment of the independent state of Albania, on 28th of November 1912”, added the President.

Dramatic developments of the First Balkan War, according to President Thaçi, brought forward a historic paradox, by leaving the lands which most of all contributed to creation of Albania, such as Kosovo, outside of Albania’s state borders.

“Despite its tragic fate, Kosovo managed to preserve its national essence and its core. Men and women, who engaged in the process of Albania’s independence, continued with the same idealism the resistance towards the liberation of Kosovo, by also giving their lives for the dream and the ideal of the freedom, as did Hasan Prishtina, Shotë Galica, Azem Bejta and many others” said the President.

The head of state said that a century after the rule and administration by many Belgrade regimes, Kosovo finally managed to establish the most important political and military organisation in the history of the Albanian nation, The Kosovo Liberation Army.

“Its pro-western vision made it find support in the democratic world, the USA, EU member states and NATO. For the first time in the history, the Albanians were participants, speakers and took decisions in relation to their fate at the Rambouillet and Paris, in 1999”, added President Thaçi.

He also said that at the 140th anniversary of the League of Prizren, the Albanian society is at its best historic position.

President Thaçi said that Albania is a NATO member, on the road to EU membership, and that Kosovo is consolidated as a state, in both internal and international plains, and is now focusing on its third objective- Euro-Atlantic integrations.