Ministry of Defence

Defence Minister Kodheli attends the 570th anniversary of Lezha Assembly

02 March 2014

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b_210_140_16777215_00___.._images_galeria_2014_Mars_02_05.jpgIn the historic town of Lezha, it was celebrated today the 570th anniversary of the Assembly of Lezha. On this occasion, at the mausoleum of the national hero, Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu, it was held a special ceremony attended by: the Speaker of the Parliament, Mr. Ilir Meta, Defence Minister, Mrs. Mimi Kodheli, the Major of Lezha, Mr. Viktor Tusha, representatives of the diplomatic corps accredited to our country, representatives of the religious community and many citizens of Lezha.

Defence Minister Kodheli, on behalf of the Albanian government, held her address, as follows:

We are all gathered here today for the 570th anniversary of the Assembly of Lezha. We all know the importance of this historical event for the whole country, which we celebrate today. We find often ourselves in such commemorations, dates, places and events that are, for all Albanians, moments of reflection and inspiration for what we do every day.
A part of our individual and social conscience is linked with the Covenant of Lezha.
We grew up listening and admiring the story, imagining the characters and reading or learning what happened on March 2, 1444. The Albanians, 570 years ago, decided to join together to be the strong European front against Eastern obscurantism.

Albanians put aside political and regional divisions to counter the common risk trying to detach the Arbër lands from European consciousness. The union of Arbër princes, over their direct interests in that distant March, 570 years ago, is described as an unprecedented move for the Europe of the 15th century. Such union, as the Covenant of Lezha, Europe will see again only four centuries later. Without modesty, we can say confidently that Gjergj Kastrioti in year 1444 did what only Garibaldi or Bismarck did in the 800s.
In this Assembly, those men made a major decision: to start war and defend the country. It was their covenant. Today, we have a similar war, in principle, not against the enemy, but a fight for a better future; a fight for a decent future for our generations; a more secure future for our children.

Messages of Lezha Assembly are always existent, for the fact that they call for unity, they invite to unity and they unite us for a better future in the European family.
Our ancestors’ contribution, in the early middle ages in defence of European civilization, is a contribution that Albanians have made to Europe at the dark ages of its history and is a great lesson with present values, at a time when Albania aspires to integrate in EU.
Our efforts to join the European family originate from Lezha Assembly, when the state created by Gjergj Kastrioti and Covenant of Lezha Assembly, were part of Europe’s efforts against the Ottoman assimilation. Today’s efforts of the new government for integration in Europe give us full confidence that they will have the proper results favorable to the expectations of Albanian citizens, for whom Europe from a dream is becoming a reality.

The commemoration of this great event filled with great men, encourages us, on behalf of the government, to make a public call to all Albanians to reflect together on what we should do for Albania and Albanians today and forever.

During this memorial ceremony, Minister Kodheli placed a wreath at the grave of national hero, Gjergj Kastrioti Skënderbeu.

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