Prepared by: Ridona Berisha
On August 21st, 2023, the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, gathered leaders from the Balkans and the European Union to discuss the expansion and the European future of the region. After the conducted meetings, in which the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, was also a part, the Serbian media speculated about the content of the Declaration approved at the end of the Summit. “Nova.rs,” proclaimed it as an exclusive document and manipulated the text of the declaration, where it mentioned the names of all the leaders of the states they came from, except the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Kurti.”
“We, the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, the President of Moldova, Maia Sandu, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, the President of Montenegro, Jakov Milatović, the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Prime Minister of Romania, Ion-Marcel Ciolacu, Prime Minister Albin Kurti, the President of the Council of Ministers, Borjana Kristo, the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovačevski, the Bulgarian Prime Minister, Nikolay Denkov, and the Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenković, in the presence of the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, met today in Athens twenty years after the historic EU-Western Balkans Summit in Thessaloniki and issued this declaration…,” is written in the manipulated text published by Nova.rs.
This article has been translated and published in Albanian on Nacionale, with the title ‘The Text of the Approved Declaration in Greece is Published: Only Kurti Not Mentioned by Country of Origin.’ However, later this media changed the title to ‘The Text of the Approved Declaration in Greece is Published’ and in the content provided an explanation for the changes made.
But in the official Declaration of the Athens Summit, published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece to the participants in the dinner, they are referred to only by their names and positions, but not the countries they represent.
“We, President Aleksandar Vučić, President Maia Sandu, President Volodymyr Zelensky, President Jakov Milatović, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister Ion-Marcel Ciolacu, Prime Minister Albin Kurti, Chair of the Council of Ministers Borjana Kristo, Prime Minister Dimitar Kovačevski, Minister Nikolai Denkov, and Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, in the presence of the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, met today in Athens, twenty years after the historic EU-Western Balkans Summit in Thessaloniki and issued this declaration,” is written in the official declaration.
Through this document, support and appreciation were expressed for the diligent efforts of President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine, who also participated in this dinner, in determining the principles for peace in accordance with the UN Charter. The need for a revitalized enlargement process by the EU with countries aspiring to become a part of it was also emphasized.
*This article is published as part of the Western Balkans Regional Initiative against disinformation. Western Balkans Anti-Disinformation Hub: exposing malign influences through watchdog journalism.