Open Forum, Mr. Hajro Limaj: Political, Economical, Diplomatic and Military relations between Albania and Turkey during 1990 2000 years

April 13th, 2013

Epoka University continues the tradition of Open Forum, where well-known figures of the political, economic and social life in Albania are invited to share their knowledge and experience with our students. On April 11, 2013 we had the pleasure to have among us the publicist and renowned diplomat Mr. Hajro Limaj, who has carried out the mission of the Military Attaché of Albania in Ankara, Turkey from 1994 to 2000, which were very difficult times for all Albanians in the region. Apart from having been advisor to the Minister of Defense he is actually advisor to the General Director of the Turkish Colleges in Albania. Mr. Limaj is well-known for his books, opinions and article writings in various written and visual media in Albania and abroad, in the last decade he has more than 1200 published articles.

Mr. Limaj’s Open Forum topic was “The Political, Economical, Diplomatic and Military relations between Albania and Turkey during 1990 - 2000”. During his speech Mr. Limaj noted the difficult times Albania and Kosova were facing at those years and the great help and guidance the Republic of Turkey granted to the Albanian cause in the region. Through facts and figures which are also published in his most recent book “Between Ankara and Tirana”, Mr. Limaj gave an overview of the support that he was able to get from Turkey in monetary terms as well as military scholarships for thousands of Albanian students to study in the best military academies of Turkey. He noted the immense support that the Republic of Turkey granted Albania in all its Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations, like all the operational and monetary funds needed for the Albanian military forces to be ready for NATO membership etc. Interestingly Mr. Limaj said that during the difficult year of 1997, through a press conference the Former Turkish Prime Minister, Mrs. Tansu Çiller warned all the Albanian neighbors not to interfere in the domestic affairs of Albania, thus preventing them from a potential border breakage. Furthermore during the year 1999, in Kosovo was under Serbian aggression Turkey was ready to intervene with their military ground forces in Serbia in order for the aggression to come to an end, claimed Mr. Limaj, even though all other countries were almost ignoring this issue.

At the end of the Open Forum students had the chance for a question/answer session in which they posed their questions and opinions. Later on Mr. Limaj signed and donated his most recent book to all the participants in the forum.