Saturday, April 21, 2007

NATO Headquarters Tirana– Transfer of Authority

NATO Headquarters Tirana– Transfer of Authority (

27 Mars 2007
Commander of NATO Staff in Tirana changes

Today before noon, in the premises of the Training and Doctrine Command was conducted the ceremony of changing the commander of NATO Staff in Tirana. Its commander, Brigade General Georgios Mouroutsos ended its mission and handed over the duty to Major General Anastasios Rintis.

In this special ceremony participated: Prime Minister of Republic of Albania Sali Berisha, Minister of Defense Fatmir Mediu, Minister of Interior Affairs Bujar Nishani, Head of Parliamentary Commission of National Security Leonard Demi, Deputy/Minister of Defence Zana Xhuka, Deputy/Chief of Staff Agim Lala, ambassadors and military attachés of NATO countries accredited in our country, leaders of the religious communities, SAIC and DIE representatives, generals and high militaries of AF, as well as other guests.

The ceremony was headed by Deputy/Commander of NATO Joint Force Command [JFC] in Naples marshal Dusty Miller. The ceremony was opened by Major General Mauroutsos, who after thanking those present for participation in this important activity, dwelt on his one year work in Albania, the perfect cooperation that he has had with Ministry of Defence and General Staff of AF, in the assistance and contribution given in the process of implementation of military reforms in Albania etc.

In his address Minister of Defence Fatmir Mediu expressed the feeling of respect and gratitude for General Mouroutsos, who became inseparable part of the attempts of Albania for progress towards membership in NATO for a complete year. “I, emphasized Minister Mediu, estimate maximally the active counseling role of General Mouroutsos for implementation of programs of Partnership for Peace, the valuable expertise in increase of interaction between our Armed Forces with NATO and realization of Objectives for Partnership alongside with completion of standards”. During the presence of General Mouroutsos in our country, - continued further on Minister Mediu,-contacts between representatives of Joint Command of Forces in Naples and our military structures were increased, thus enabling beneficial of expertise of this Command to the advantage of transformation of our Armed Forces’. He estimated especially assistance of NATO Staff in Tirana and General Mouroutsos, who has influenced positively in the continuous progress of our Defense Reform with his benevolent thoughts that he has given in many joint meetings.

“We are very near membership in the Alliance of North Atlantic thanks to the miraculous aid given by NATO Staff in Tirana and the collective contribute of this group led perfectly by General Mouroutsos.

NATO Staff in Tirana has contributed in all the aspects in support of the Albanian society, changing into in an institution completely acceptable for Albanian society”, - said at the end of his address Minister Mediu.
On this accession, he welcomed the new high military leader of NATO Staff, Brigade General Anastasios Rintis and expressed the belief that cooperation between Ministry of Defense and other Albanian institutions with NATO Staff in Tirana will be intensified during 2007 and in continuity, as a decisive period for realization of Albania’s strategic objective to get the invitation for NATO membership.

Later, those present were greeted by Prime Minister Sali Berisha. “We are gathered today to see off General Mouroutsos, emphasized Mr. Berisha, a valuable guest, a capable and skilled commander, to express the gratitude for his great contribution during his one year work in leading NATO staff in Tirana”.

During this year that he led NATO Staff in Tirana, said in continuation of his address Prime Minister Berisha, relations of Albania with NATO took place new developments. This year Albania received the great message from Riga Summit to get the invitation for NATO membership in the future summit. Prime Minister Berisha assured that, the Albanian government will do every attempt to deserve this invitation. It will continue with higher rhythms process of transformation of AF, in order to make them smaller in number, but professional and within standards that requires membership in Euro-Atlantic Alliance. Mr. Berisha notified that just some days ago the Government decided that the defense budget for 2008 to be increased in 2% of GDP. He welcomed in Albania as the head of the NATO staff in Tirana Brigade General Rintis and encouraged him to fulfill with honor duties of his mission, having always in his side the full support of Albanian party.

In the ceremony greeted also Deputy/Commander of NATO Command of Joint Forces [JFC] In Naples marshal Dusty Miller. For contribution given in accomplishment successfully of the duty in our country as the head of NATO Staff in Tirana, minister of Defense Fatmir Mediu accorded to Major General Georgios Mouroutsos ‘Medal for Distinguished Services’. Mareshal Miller handed over the flag of NATO Staff in Tirana to Brigade General Anastasios Rintis accompanied by the march of the Wind Orchestra of AF.

A large greek troops are in Mission in Albania a total numer of 500 trops with a legislative Parlamentary of albania, including greeks Italians and US troops. While the turkish troops have left Orikus Base, in Vlora Bay, very soon after the decision of NATO to take old Base under the NATO`s comand. Turkish army has taken Vlora Base in 1999 with a agreement with albanian governament a accord 5 + 2 years.

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