On September 22, 2010 Federation of Balkan American Association organized the Second Annual Balkan Leaders' Summit at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. The main topic of the event was “Making Europe Whole: Completing the Balkans, Euro-Atlantic Integration”. The outcome of the event was positive as a result of the attendance of many political and business leaders from Balkans and the US. Leaders from Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Monte Negro – among all - addressed the audience, stressing the common goal of peace and prosperity in the Balkans. This summit was organized in cooperation with Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey (TUSKON).
The keynote speaker
H.E. Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey
The keynote speaker at the event was the Turkish President Abdullah Gul who expressed his wish for all Balkan countries to join NATO in order to bring stability to the area. The Turkish president stated that a more stable situation would occur if all Balkan countries united under a Euro-Atlantic organization. He also expressed that problems would be solved with the unification of the Balkans under a big umbrella like NATO. President Gül claimed that the European Union (EU) membership was also important for Balkan countries, and expressed belief that all Balkan countries will meet the criteria and become a full EU member one day. Gül said Balkan countries should be in solidarity as well as cooperation among themselves. They should be able to solve their problems in dialogue through diplomacy which he believes will be easier once all Balkan countries unite under the EU and NATO.
New York’s Governor
The New York Governor David Paterson stated that they would open a trade and investment office in Istanbul in October 2011 which will stimulate the economy of the Balkans. He also stated that trough events such as this summit, leaders could meet face to face, discuss and tackle tough economic issues. According to the Governor, this is a great opportunity to bring the leaders of the world together for networking, particularly because of the recession occurring all over the globe.
President of Macedonia
Dr. Gjorge Ivanov
“Only the European idea can secure our peace,” stated President Gjorge Ivanov. “Only the open space creates open-minded people. The open space creates a single market, which can today be achieved only by the EU. It can open the space on the Balkans so that the people can start thinking about the future generations, to leave them peace. The peace is crucial on the Balkans. Only the European idea can secure our peace,” emphasized Ivanov, who attended the Summit along with FM Antonio Milososki.