A regional table top exercise on emerging security challenges was held on 14 September in Durrës. The event was organized by the Presence, the Prime Minister’s Office, the State Informative Service (SHISH), the George C. Marshall Center and the Partnership for Peace (PfP) Consortium. The event brought together participants from diverse institutions, including representatives of different faith communities in Albania and officials from the region.
Deputy Prime Minister Niko Peleshi said in his remarks that religious harmony in Albania should not be taken for granted as the danger of violent extremism was always present. The US Ambassador Lu pointed to the fact that according to the Albanian Institute for International Studies no Albanian citizens had joined the Islamic State armies in the last two years. The EU Ambassador Romana Vlahutin stressed the need for better co-operation between security services and to work on better understanding the appeal of violent extremist groups, in order to counter their narrative efficiently.
Acting Head of OSCE Presence Robert Wilton emphasized that the phenomena of violent extremism, foreign terrorist fighters and illegal migration are of great concern for the OSCE’s security community: “This is not a problem caused by one single country or affecting one country and it will not be solved by one country only. In the end, this great challenge will not be solved by guns and walls, but by ideas and by communication”.