A Breakfast Meeting with Congressman Sandy Levin

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ROCHESTER HILLS, MI – The Albanian-American Association “Malësia e Madhe” upon the request of the U.S. Congressman Sandy Levin meets the Board members of “ Malesia e Madhe”and Muhamed Gjokaj in a breakfast meeting to discuss issues surrounding Albanians in Montenegro. After a pleasant introduction, Congressman Levin briefed the Association on Congress’s position and willpower to aid and improve socio-political and civic status of Albanians in Montenegro. Congressmen Levin also discussed the modification period/transition in the governmental structure of Montenegro, in conjunction with instrument of democracy, political rights for minorities, economical opportunities and justice for Albanians in Montenegro.

Members of the Association “ Malesia e Madhe” and Mr. Muhamed Gjokaj, attorney with the specialization on diplomacy, expressed concerns that the status quo for Albanians in Montenegro is no longer acceptable or justifiable. In addition, the members of the board concisely explained to Congressmen Levin that the Montenegrin Government has individually and collectively expelled Albanian minority from the right to genuine equal participation in the Montenegrin Government; therefore denying basic human and political rights, which is a direct violation of the Articles of the International Covenant on Civic and Political Rights, European Charter for Minority Rights and other supplementary international and European laws that protect minority rights. Montenegro has chosen an erroneous path, using Albanians as pretext for division, manipulation, meaningless promises, and unequal economic opportunities; favoring individuals that collaborate at the expense of Albanian rights, creating a distrustful environment among Albanians, and as a result of this, forcing Albanians to immigrate or assimilate into a majority group. Comments and responses from members of the Board expressed frustration and disappointment of how Montenegro continues to discriminate Albanians in all spheres and levels of society.

Equal justice for Albanians continues to present itself as a significant issue in the society. It was clearly stated by the members of the board that the Montenegrin Government for decades has been practicing unfair and injustice practices, fostering institutionalized discrimination which has become a part of society and government formation as a means of consequently denying equal rights and rejecting Albanians from equal access to the benefits of all society’s social-political and economical public structures. Members of the Board urged Congressmen Levin to inform appropriate officials and institutions regarding our grievance and concerns, and noted that these complaints would be addressed.

The Albanian-American Association “Malësia e Madhe” compliments Congressmen Levin for the opportunity to meet with the board members of “Malesia e Madhe” and his willingness to assist in all preliminary preparation for a June 7, 2006 meeting at Capital Hill with senator Levin regarding the same issue: Albanian Rights in Montenegro. We look forward to working cooperatively, untiringly and diligently with all the members of Congress.

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