Macedonia and Albania agree to hold joint session of governments (UPD)

Albania and Macedonia have no open issues and want to strengthen cooperation as the only certain path towards the Euro-Atlantic integration, two countries’ foreign ministers Ditmir Bushati and Nikola Dimitrov said after Tuesday’s meeting in Tirana.

Both ministers announced holding of a joint session between two governments in autumn in Pogradec which would focus on projects for development of the two countries and the entire region.

After the meeting in Trieste, today we agreed to hold a joint session of the governments in autumn in Pogradec. This will be new development in the relations between our two countries. An opportunity will be created through this mechanism to give priority to sectors for cooperation in order to facilitate the realisation of strategic projects for which funding will be provided through international and European funds, Bushati said.

Albania and Macedonia have potential to contribute for the development of the region through new development path through modernization of infrastructure, which as Bushati underlined was not the center of interest of Europe in last years in regard to main corridors.

Bushati said that Tirana wants to have good relations with Skopje. There were some misconceptions in regard to our views in the past. Macedonia is important neighbour for us and democratic stability, inter-ethnic harmony, especially between the Macedonian and Albanian communities, is of significant importance for Macedonia and Albania, but also for the stability of the entire region and its European perspective, Bushati emphasised.

He welcomed the ambitious 3-6-9 reforms plan by the Macedonian government which aims at further democratization of Macedonia and speeding up the reforms necessary for NATO and EU integration. Macedonian can count on Albania’s support for NATO membership, Bushati said.

Albania did not want and will not be an obstacle to any country in its Euro-Atlantic aspirations. Tirana is very interested in the stability of Macedonia and region, Bushati added.

Asked about the Ohrid Agreement, Bushati said that part of agreement has been already included in the new government's programme which, as he added, has other point of view for the Albanians.

The Ohrid Agreement is embedded in the declaration of the Albanian parties, but also in the new government's programme, it is included in the plan 3-6-9, presented in Brussels and before international partners. I was very pleased that besides Dimitrov, also an Albanian minister attended the EU-Macedonia Stabilisation and Association Council with (Federica) Mogherini and (Johannes) Hahn. Albanian parties have become part of the changes, we are working together to strengthen the spirit of change, Bushati said. Dimitrov said that they agreed with Bushati to make more than only political statements and to boost cooperation of concrete projects.

We want to cooperate with our neighbours. I am glad to know that we have the support of Albania in the integration processes, Dimitrov said.

Foreign Ministers also agreed on strengthening economic and trade cooperation.

Dimitrov is also scheduled to hold meetings today in Tirana with Prime Minister Edi Rama and President Ilir Meta. 


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