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In an address to the debate, Mr. Topi said any political, economic, military or diplomatic effort against Kosovo’s consolidation as a State “would be a hopeless attempt against the integrating processes towards NATO and the European Union.“It would be a regressive move against foreign investments and progress which we need so direly,” he added.Mr. Topi said “this new political, economical and social reality” that is Kosovo is an irreversible development, adding that formal recognition of it as a State “is to the interest of Kosovo, of Albania, of Serbia and of all its close and distant neighbours, of Europe and Mediterranean space.”He said the independence move would help with efforts in the region to promote the rule of law, encourage long-term peace and stability and spur closer integration with the rest of Europe.“The independence of Kosovo finally frees this part of Europe from the nightmare of war, of inter-ethnic conflicts, of ethnic cleansing and genocide; it fulfils and respects the free will of a people to break free from the political oppression, from historical injustices and inability to develop.”The President noted that Albania was helping the people and government of Kosovo – where ethnic Albanians outnumber other groups by nine to one – to build a society that is genuinely democratic, secular and multi-ethnic.He added that he was confident that the precise role of the UN peacekeeping mission to Kosovo, known as UNMIK, would soon be reconfigured to take account of the changed circumstances. 24 September 2008Kosovo, which declared its independence from Serbia earlier this year, deserves to be a United Nations Member State as soon as possible, Albanian President Bamir Topi told the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate tonight.

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