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  • Bar-Ilan University President Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz (right) welcomes Albanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bishati

    Bar-Ilan University President Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz (right) welcomes Albanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bishati

    Albanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Greek and Turkish Diplomats Address Joint BESA Center-B'nai B'rith International Conference

    Date: 2017-02-27 Hour: 8:03

    The nations of the Mediterranean and particularly its eastern basin, including Israel, are very much a focal point of current international tensions. They also represent a meeting point of civilizations, both historically and culturally. They sit astride some of the world’s most important trade routes and avenues of strategic access between Asia and the West. These nations continue to face dramatic challenges and dangers, as well as opportunities.

    Bar-Ilan University's Begin-Sadat (BESA) Center for Strategic Studies, together with B'nai B'rith International, convened a major international conference – the second of its kind -- that surveyed the ongoing chaotic conditions in collapsed and failed states in the region; the rise and fall of Islamist forces in littoral lands, specifically Syria and Libya; and the emergence of new alliances, bolstered – among other factors – by energy developments.

    Mr. Ditmir Bushati, Albanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as Greek and Turkish diplomats and participants from Britain, Russia, Turkey and the US, addressed the conference, entitled "Strategic Challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean".  Former Likud minister Gideon Sa’ar delivered the closing address on “Israel’s Challenges in the Regional Strategic Environment". 

    Albanian Minister Bushati spoke on Middle East Security: The View from Tirana.  "Albania believes in the human ability to meet, accept and respect others, their culture and their beliefs. This is what we have always done in our history, even in the darkest times of World War II, by welcoming and protecting Jews from the nightmare of Holocaust. This is what we will continue to do also in our region, with our neighbors, and promote respect, equality and dignity for all, as the foundation for diverse and peaceful societies. It is our shared responsibility to stand up to everything that threatens our way of life, our freedom, our values, shared values, everything that we have achieved through centuries of hard work, perseverance and sacrifices," said Minister Bushati. 

    The Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs later tweeted Bushati's speech, which was re-tweeted 40 times, including by the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Albanian Delegation to NATO, the Albanian Embassies in the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia and Switzerland, and the Albanian Ambassadors to Turkey and Croatia.

    Conference participants also examined the ever-changing landscape from several regional and external perspectives. Their object will be to chart options for cooperation and emphasize the need for a new, sophisticated, and multi-layered security architecture in the Mediterranean in which Israel can play an active role.

    “We are thrilled to partner again with The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies. This conference will provide further insight into refugee issues, regional cooperation, Iranian expansionism and superpower competition. We will also look closely at the economic relationship between eastern Mediterranean countries,” said B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman and B’nai B’rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin prior to the conference.