[Washington D.C., May 31; Image via AP]
Interview of the President by Andi Bejtja, Vision Plus TV, Albania The Map Room
May 31, 2007
Q: Mr. President, first of all, I want to thank you for the opportunity you give to me and to Albanian public for this interview. And I have just a simple question in the beginning. What is the reason of including Albania in this European tour this time?
THE PRESIDENT: That's a fascinating question. ... I've been impressed by your leadership. I have met your leaders at different times —
Q: Impressed in what sense?
THE PRESIDENT: In the sense that they're committed to common values with the United States, that they believe in certain freedoms, and that people ought to be given a chance to live in a free society.
Q: Yes, this is a historical visit. And Albanians hoping to get a — to receive an invitation at summit to join NATO in 2008. How realistic this Albanian expectation is, according to you?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, my message to the Albanian government and the Albanian people is, first of all, thank you for your interest in joining NATO.
Q: And let's get to the hardest point: Kosovo. I mean, in the beginning of the week, you just had a phone call from Russian President Vladimir Putin, and you agreed with him to rediscuss Kovoso's future once again. And people are worried about that.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, let me make it clear what I did say.
Q: Because everybody is worried about that.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, they ought to be worried about it. It's a difficult issue.
Q: So in case of a Russian veto next month at Security Council, does U.S. have a plan B for Kosovo?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, plan A is to try to make plan A work.
Q: Yes, but is the plan A —
THE PRESIDENT: I know, but you're asking me to think hypothetically. It happens, by the way, with the United States press, too.
Q: Yes. And let me ask one childish question, because it is your first time in Albania, and everyone is wondering, what does come to your mind when you heard the word, Albania?
THE PRESIDENT: Beautiful coastline, interesting history, Muslim people who can live at peace.
Uh, yeah, until the next time a Ponzi scheme erupts into civil war.