Zogu said he would cooperate with those Albanian political forces, which favour political stability, genuine democracy and Albania's reconstruction.
As regards the form of governing he reconfirmed the already known stand of the Legality Movement party for a referendum under international supervision, so that the Albanian people choose on their own free will the constitutional form of governing, which suits their individual and national aspirations.
"Whatever be the verdict of the people, we will respect it," said Leka.
During the news conference, Zogu addressed the Albanian people saying:"I return to Albania to share in your sorrows and difficulties, but also to enliven you vital aspirations."
Leka was only a few days when his father, King Zog, fled the country with his family in 1939. After the death of his father in 1961, he was proclaimed king. s.sh/kei/lm/k
Prodi first stopped off at Vlore and will fly later to Tirana.
This is the second visit of Prodi to Albania, after the April 2 visit to Gjirokaster where he had a meeting with Fino.
Besides his visit to Vlore and meeting with Fino, Prodi will also meet President Sali Berisha.
Prodi and Fino will hold a news conference today at 14:00. s.sh/kei/lm/k
The paper carries a statement of the Albanain democratic party entitled :"Xenophobic concepts harming Albania's cooperation with the neighbouring countries", regarding a statement of the SP secretary for public relations, Pandeli Majko, for the Italian press.
Majko has accused Casini in the newspaper "Corriere della Sera", of being a neocolonialist. The paper also says that "The U.S. is ready to help Albania".
Zeri i Popullit reports on today's meeting of the DP National Council :"The DP today : debate with pistols into belt".
The paper covers the visit of Andreatta to Tirana and carries a resolution of the European Parliament on Albania, entitled:"Support for the Government of National Reconciliation".
The paper carries the economic article:"Financial crisis and paralysis at home-result of the DP governing".
Republika carries an interview with Italian ambassador to Albania Paolo Foresti under the title"The Vlore committees filled the vacuum".
As regards the visit to Albania today of Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, the paper carries the article:"Today in Tirana Prodi meets with Fino" and "Prodi, the politician sacrificing himself for Albania". The paper carries the editorial: "DP on the arena of gladiators" and says:"Leka Zogu arrives in Albania". Rilindja reports that :"Leka Zogu arrived yesterday in Tirana- hundreds of people welcomed the royal heir". The paper carries a report on the violation of human rights and freedoms in Kosova during March 1997 under the title:"Killings, arrests and raids" continue".
The paper also reports that:"The U.S. secretary of State Kornblum arrived in Prishtine". The paper covers the visit of Italian Defence Minister Andreatta to Albania.
Albania reports:"The hear to King Zog arrives in Albania-thousands of monarchists welcome Leka I".
As regards today's debate in the DP National Council meeting, the paper says: "The political destiny of the motionists in crossroad."
Albania says:""SP against Italian mission to Albania" regarding Majko's statement to the Italian Press.
Koha Jone:"DP, hour of long knifes" and carries the editorial: "The DP we need". The paper carries an essay entitled:"Vlore does not die" and says:"Berisha in "fight' with Vranitzky".
Dita says: "Does Leka Zogu has chances" and: "European parliament supports NIS disintegration".
As regards the visit of Leka I to Albania, the newspaper Gazeta Shqiptare cites Leka as saying: "I will ask reconciliation".
The paper carries a feature citing grave diggers as saying: "Every day I buried murdered people", "The majority youths". kei/lm/k
The activity was organised by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Women, the National Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Education and Sports.
Sports Club members from the whole country marched along the boulevard. Alongside the children's team "Alban club", also marching were sports veterans, veterans of private sports clubs, of "Tirana" and "Partizani" clubs as well as many fans and sportsmen from other districts.
Also among the demonstrators were Minister of Culture, Youth and Women Engjell Ndocaj, the Tirana mayor, Albert Brojka and others.
The Tirana inhabitants and the other participants in the demonstration kept a minute's silence in respect of those who drowned on March 28 in the Otranto Channel. s.sh/kei/lm
According to sources from the Durres district Marine, this tanker type vessel will escort the multinational force mission, due to reach Durres on Tuesday.
The French naval vessel brought several logistic and escorting vehicles, which left for destination, right after unloading.
This is the third ship arriving in Durres port following the Italian military ships, which brought six logistic vehicles and several advance troops of the multinational forces. s.sh/kei/lm
In a joint press conference with Albanian Prime Minister, Bashkim Fino, Prodi stressed that Albania is a united country with a very great potentiality and described the multinational force mission in Albania as the beginning of an operation for the fast and all round development of the country.
"Our mission is only to prepare the real dawn for the rapid development of the country," Prodi said.
Stressing the humanitarian character of the multinational force mission in Albania and the use of weapons only to realise this objective of the mission, Prodi pointed out the commitment of the multinational force to reorganize Albanian police forces. kled/xh/sh/
"I would like to express my profound gratitude," said President Berisha to Premier Prodi, "for the great interest, valuable aid and solidarity that friendly Italy is proving to Albanians in this difficult period and to assure you that Albanians would always appreciate this, as an expression of sincere friendship between our two peoples and countries."
Premier Prodi thanked President Berisha for the reception and assured him that Italy, as the leading force of the multinational force operation, is totally committed to its success and responsible for the realisation of this operation in cooperation with the Albanian Government and legitimate institutions.
He suggested to President Berisha the creation of a bilateral experts group to follow the cooperation in all the fields for the quickest reconstruction of the institutions.
"The success of this operation, which would be short-termed to leave its place to a broader cooperation, is not only a direct and important contribution to the creation of the necessary conditions for the coming elections," he said, "but it also serves the consolidation of the friendly cooperation between Albania and Italy." In this direction, Premier Prodi appreciated as very important the quickest possible assistance that the Italian Government would give to Italian investors to resume their activity in Albania and promised President Berisha his mediation in international financial organizations to help Albania come out of the crisis.
President Berisha also stressed that the clarification of the activity of the collapsed pyramid investment schemes with the aid of Italian experts and those of other countries prior to elections is indispensable and consists one of the points of the March 9, 1997 Agreement. He also stressed to Premier Prodi that he considered important the preparation of a western constitution for Albania to be reached with the consensus of all political forces, so that the constitution be not exploited to repeat the polls by those who will not win.
President Berisha voiced his convictions in the success of the multinational force operation, which would also help restore the normal life. He considered the free and fair elections as the only and reliable road for democracy and Albania's integration into Europe, but stressed that the rebels committees in some of the southern districts and the armed gangs are seriously an obstacle in this regard. President Berisha underlined that Albanians in general appreciate Italian support and that of other countries for free and fair elections.
Premier Prodi assured President Berisha that the Italian Government would try by all manner of means to recover the victims of the Otranto tragedy and to ease its consequences.
President Berisha and Premier Prodi, considering the visit as successful, promised for a further consolidation of the friendship and cooperation between the two peoples and countries.
On this occasion, President Berisha asked Italian Premier Romano Prodi to convey his greetings to President Scalfaro. ssh/kled/xh/sh/
He was welcomed there by his Albanian counterpart, Bashkim Fino, ministers Ngjela, Malaj and Albanian Ambassador in Rome, Pandeli Pasko.
After a meeting without the presence of reporters in one of the I. Qemali University premises, Prodi and Fino had a meeting with representatives of the local government and the prefecture, the political parties, the public salvation committee, the military garrison of Vlore, religious communities of the district and families of victims of the Straits of Otranto on March 28.
The District Council chairman, Mehdin Xhelili expressed in the name of the people of this city the support for the operation "Alba" which would start next week.
Albanian Premier Fino underlined that Prodi's coming to Albania shortly time after his visit to Gjirokaster proves of a very great commitment of the Italian Government to the Albanian people. "The best friend is seen in difficult times," said Mr Fino and "this friend for us is Mr Romano Prodi."
Thanking the Italian Government for the beginning of the Italian-led Alba operation next week, Mr Fino said that "One of the points we discussed with Mr Prodi was also the opening of an Italian consulate in the city of Vlore, which will be realised soon."
Premier Fino said that he had asked Mr Prodi that investments by Italian investors be realised with priority in Vlore. This is also added to the fact that 100 thousand Albanians are actually working in Italian firms, said Fino.
"It is not the time to make the analysis of the events we are experiencing," said Fino. "It will be made by analysts later. The message of the government is that of peace and dialogue.
After proposing a minute of silence for the Otranto victims, Premier Prodi expressed his pleasure for the visit to the city of Vlore.
Italian Premier told those present that the consulate in Vlore would be established as soon as possible.
Prodi said that he had asked Italian investors that their investments for Albania be larger than those of other countries. "But for this," said Mr Prodi, "they demand public order and tranquillity."
In regard to this, Italian Premier said, a group of experts will be formed with the participation of Albanian and Italian personalities, for the most important problems of the country such as health sector, education, law and above all investments.
"This group," said Prodi, "would start working very soon," adding that "the pain your country is experiencing is my personal pain as well."
Underlining the fact that Vlore is the city of the Flag for Albania, Mr Prodi donated the city an Italian flag, which was handed over to the Vlore district council chairman.
Before leaving Vlore, premiers Prodi and Fino greeted thousands of Vlore citizens who had crowded the square in front of the local University. ssh/kled/xh/sh/
At the beginning of the meeting, the Democratic Party chairman Tritan Shehu spoke, then President Berisha took the floor.
The meeting of the DP National Council is analyzing the situation in Albania and the measures to be adopted to overcome it./kled/xh/sh/
"I have asked the Premier and the President of the Republic to make everything possible to prepare as soon as possible the fresh elections, which must be transparent, democratic and correct. This is one of the objectives of the Alba mission," said Prodi.
Premier Prodi considered as "highly committed" Italy's stand towards the neighbouring country, but he stressed that Italy was also supported by a number of other countries, both in northern Europe and in the Balkan countries.
Focusing on the "hesitation" of European countries to take a decision on such problems, he hailed the fast act of these countries regarding Albania. "Finally we showed that European countries know to take the initiative and it was precisely the moment and this initiative will come out successfully."
"Our objective is to turn back right after we have helped for the establishment of the rule of law, one month after fresh democratic elections are conducted," explained Prodi with regard to the mandate of Alba.
Referring to today's meeting in Vlore with Mr Prodi, Albanian Premier Bashkim Fino said that "Vlore manifested the Albanian hospitality and I feel proud of being the chairman of the National Reconciliation Government, with the support of this people who knew to overcome the pains and wounds of the past time. They showed once again that Albania is part of the great European family."
The meetings held between the two premiers discussed the creation of a bilateral commission which would act urgently in the fields of finance, agriculture, health, education, public administration and investments. They also agreed to establish an Italian consulate in Vlore.
In reply to a reporter's question, Italian Premier Romano Prodi said that "we all are interested for the conduct of new elections in Albania," underlining the fact that Italy is not in favour of one or the other party in Albania and it does not want to meddle in the Albanian policy.
"We have not come to worsen the situation," he said, insisting once more that he was in favour of the realisation of a democratic and transparent electoral process within the set deadlines.
Asked about the status of the multinational forces in Albania, Prodi replied that the mission of the foreign soldiers in Albania was to deliver the EU aid and to help restore order in Albania. The mission, he said, would not be in the role of "the policeman," but it will help in the restructuring of the police forces. "Putting it clearly, our mission will assist the Albanian society to restore the state structures," he said.
With regard to his visit in Vlore, Prodi said that the great enthusiasm of the people in Vlore seemed to him to be sincere and that the meeting had started after a minute of silence to the memory of the Otranto victims.
In reply to a question addressed to Mr Fino whether conditions would exist for the new elections to be held in June, he said that "one of the two main duties of the government was the realisation of the electoral process, noting that without the conduct of these elections Albania cannot expect investments by EU."
At the end of the news conference, Prodi's message to the Albanian people was: "I have a simple message, this is a country with great potentialities, it has had a moment of crisis which for a moment I thought it could overcome by itself, but this country asked our help and we are giving it. I am of the opinion that this country is capable of making great leaps at a short period of time. This country needs only a restructured state through democratic polls and understanding as well, and then, I am convinced that investments would come to Albania as soon as possible. Albania is the only Mediterranean country with hundreds of kilometers along empty coastal line, it is the only Mediterranean country with plenty of water, the only Mediterranean country surrounded by very developed countries. This is a country full of youths, it is a country with a very high educational level but which is lacking understanding only. We have come here to help reach this understanding and the rest comes instinctively," said Prodi in conclusion. kled/xh/sh/