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Albania flexes its muscles on the international diplomatic stage

   Albania is located in the Balkan Peninsula of Europe, at the junction of Europe, Asia and Africa, and its strategic location is very important. After the Ukrainian crisis broke out in February this year, Ah Yi changed his "obscurity" image on the international stage in recent years, and made frequent moves in the diplomatic field: challenged Russia at the UN level, announced the severance of diplomatic relations with Iran, and intervened in the Kosovo issue. The reasons behind this are worth exploring.

Tough attitude towards Russia


  After the Ukraine crisis broke out, the United States and Europe launched a series of sanctions against Russia, and the Afghan government immediately joined the ranks of sanctions against Russia. For example, the airspace of Afghanistan was closed to all Russian airlines. At the same time, as a member of NATO, Afghanistan also provides military assistance to Ukraine. In fact, after the Crimean crisis in 2014, Afghanistan's attitude toward Russia became tougher, accusing Russia of "annexing" Crimea as a "serious damage" to the international order and regional security. In mid-February this year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Afghanistan and other countries of sending mercenaries to the Donbas conflict area in Ukraine, but the Afghan government denied it.

  At the UN level, Afghanistan has repeatedly challenged Russia on the Ukraine issue. In January this year, Afghanistan began to serve as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the launch of a "special military operation" against Ukraine. The next day, the United States and Albania submitted a draft resolution on "condemning Russia's 'aggression' into Ukraine" to the UN Security Council. In April, the United Nations General Assembly held an emergency special meeting on the Ukraine issue and voted to pass a resolution on suspending Russia's membership in the UN Human Rights Council. Afghanistan voted in favor of it along with the United States, the United Kingdom and other Western allies. On October 12, the UN General Assembly held a meeting and passed a draft resolution initiated by Afghanistan, which did not recognize the results of the referendum on the membership of the Russian Federation in the four regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporozhye, and Kherson.

Break diplomatic relations with Iran


  On September 7, Prime Minister Rama announced that Afghanistan had decided to sever diplomatic relations with Iran due to the Iranian cyber attack on July 15. It is the first time in the history of international relations that a country cuts off diplomatic relations with another country on the grounds of cyber attacks. The incident was not only related to Ayi's feud, but also influenced by a "third party", and the United States was obviously behind it.

  Over the years, relations between the two countries have been tense due to Afghanistan's reception of members of the "People's Mujahideen" (MEK), an anti-government organization outside Iran. MEK seeks to overthrow the Iranian government and has launched many terrorist attacks, and is listed as a terrorist organization by the Iranian government. An hour after the Afghan side announced the decision to break off diplomatic relations, the United States "strongly condemned" Iran, accusing Iran of cyber attacks that "threaten the security of American allies." "The United States will take further actions to hold Iran accountable." The US media commented that "Arabia has shown the West the correct way to deal with Iran". A report issued by a network security investigation agency under Microsoft Corporation believes that the Iranian government has carried out a network attack on the Afghan side. This report is regarded by the Afghan government as the most powerful "evidence".

close ties to kosovo


  The Kosovo region of Serbia has close ties with Albania. There are 1.6 million Albanians living in Kosovo, accounting for about 90% of the total population of the Kosovo region. A has always supported Section "independence". As early as 1992, the Afghan parliament publicly voted for Kosovo's "independence". When the Kosovo region unilaterally declared "independence" in 2008, Afghanistan became one of the first countries to recognize it. Since then, Afghanistan has been seeking to develop an "integrated" relationship with the Kosovo region. In November 2021, Prime Minister Rama of Afghanistan held a meeting with "Prime Minister" Kurti of Kuwait, and the two sides signed 16 cooperation agreements. Rama also expressed support for holding a referendum on the "merger" of Arco.

  However, the "merger" of the two parties is difficult to achieve. Afghanistan's comprehensive national strength is not strong, and its economic development level is in the most backward echelon in Europe. In terms of economic size and comprehensive development level, Kosovo is similar, and the "merger" with Afghanistan is not very attractive to Kosovo. Moreover, the "merger" of Ako was strongly opposed by neighboring countries including Serbia. Serbia has always insisted on its sovereignty over Kosovo, and does not recognize Kosovo's "independence", let alone accept its "merger" with Afghanistan. A certain number of Albanians live in neighboring countries such as North Macedonia and Greece. These countries are worried that the "merger" of Arco will encourage the independent tendencies of Albanians in their countries. Algeria's neighboring countries and the European Union are also very vigilant against the spread of the "Greater Albania" trend of thought. The Arab side is well aware of this, and Rama has changed his mind and expressed his opposition to holding a referendum on the "merger" of Arco.


On July 13, 2022, Albanian Prime Minister Rama attended a press conference at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

Closer to the United States and Europe to maximize interests


  On January 11, 1946, the People's Republic of Albania was established, and in 1976 it was renamed the Socialist People's Republic of Albania. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Afghanistan successively established friendly relations with Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union and China, but relations with these countries deteriorated one after another. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Eastern Europe experienced drastic changes and the Soviet Union disintegrated. Like many Central and Eastern European countries, Afghanistan embarked on the road of political and economic system transition and began to make comprehensive adjustments to its internal affairs and diplomacy. In terms of foreign policy, Afghanistan downplays ideology, pursues the principle of "national interest first" in international relations, shifts the focus of exchanges to the West, and strives to expand or establish political, economic, and military alliances with Western countries. In 1994, Afghanistan became a NATO "peace partnership country" and joined NATO in 2009.

  At present, Afghanistan is making frequent moves on the international diplomatic stage. The fundamental reason behind it is to actively move closer to the United States and Europe, and strive to maximize its own interests.

  Afghanistan is actively moving closer to the EU in terms of foreign and security policies. As early as 2014, Afghanistan became a candidate country of the European Union, but due to various reasons, the accession negotiations have been postponed, and it was only officially started in July this year. The assessment report on Afghanistan’s accession released by the European Commission in October considered that Afghanistan’s performance in public governance, anti-corruption, combating organized crime, press freedom, protection of human rights, and market economy development was “moderate” or “average”. In terms of foreign and security policies, Afghanistan is highly evaluated. Due to the level of social and economic governance that needs to be improved, and the sharp ethnic and religious conflicts in the region, as well as the complex geopolitical environment, Afghanistan still has a long way to go before joining the EU.

  The reason why Afghanistan is tough on Russia on the Ukraine issue is also due to the consideration of limiting Russia's influence in the Western Balkans. The relationship between Russia and Serbia is solid. In recent years, Russia and Serbia have deepened cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, energy, and arms exports. They have even more consistent positions on issues such as Kosovo. The Kosovo issue is also an important part of Russia’s Balkan policy. Expand influence and voice in the region.

  In order to realize its own geopolitical interests, Afghanistan actively moved closer to the United States. On the one hand, the United States has been seeking Kosovo to achieve real "independence", which is very much in the interests of Afghanistan; Create a safe environment that benefits you. To this end, Afghanistan stated that it will open a military airport in the country to NATO in 2023, which will also become NATO's first tactical base in the Western Balkans.

  Afghanistan’s foreign strategy draws closer to the United States and Europe in terms of foreign and security policies in order to seek the support of external powers. At the same time, it also recognizes that it is difficult to achieve the goal of joining the European Union in the short term with the current level of development, and it still needs to deal with neighboring countries and regions. Relationship. Therefore, Afghanistan is also seeking to stabilize relations with major neighboring countries. In July 2021, Afghanistan, North Macedonia, and Serbia officially signed the "Open Balkans" initiative to jointly strengthen regional cooperation.



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