29 March 2020 Interview of President Meta for ADNKronos: Aid and solidarity with Italy, the pandemic is a common danger
The European Union is experiencing a period marked by “great difficulties”, but in the past has experienced “much more difficult” periods than the current one with the Covid-19 pandemic, including two World Wars.” This was underlined by the President of the Republic of Albania Ilir Meta, during an interview with ADNKronos.
The country of the Eagles recently received the OK from the European Council for the opening of the EU membership talks, along with northern Macedonia.
Now the EU, in the face of the pandemic, is facing very strong tensions: “I understand the regrets – Meta points out – and the changes that are taking place in this period of great difficulty.”
“But let me tell you” – continues the President – “that Europe has gone through much more difficult times, including two World Wars in the last century. It is necessary that in the European project to have space, both for the benefits that come from integration and the common market, but also would be necessary to protect the traditions and cultures, all in the name of freedom and democracy,” concluded Meta.
“The coronavirus-induced pandemic is a common danger that threatens our countries and our citizens.” This was highlighted by the President of the Republic of Albania, Ilir Meta, in an interview with ADNKronos, after his country sent 30 doctors and nurses to Italy to helping to cope with the consequences of infection.
“Unfortunately, Italy” Meta continues – “is paying a very high price. Therefore, for Albania being of assistance to the Italian people today is not only a gesture of help and solidarity, but also an opportunity to exchange experience for our young doctors and health staff to help in the most affected areas”.
“The history of mutual aid between our peoples” continues Meta – “dates back centuries, when Albanians became the dam that stopped the Ottoman occupation, first of Italy and then of Europe, a period that lasted for many years and many centuries. The old Arbëresh community in Italy, living in Sicily, Calabria, Basilicata, Apulia, Campania, Molise, Lazio and Abruzzo, are also a strong testimony, but also the new Albanian community that arrived in Italy after 1990, today they are italian citizens and residents right in the areas most affected by the pandemic.”
“How can we forget”- adds Meta – “Italy and its help in all Albanian crises from 1991 to 1997, during the 1999 Kosovo war and the last earthquake of 2019. We are two neighboring countries and two neighboring peoples. I often say, everything can change, but geography can’t. “
For Meta, our countries are in the same boat: “A success for Italy against coronavirus would also be a great advantage for Albania in its fight against the virus.” Also, the President of the Republic of Albania expresses his “condolences to all the families of the victims of Covid-19 and the Italian authorities”.
“Albania has started the European integration process a long time ago. I am optimistic that we will be able to continue on the path we have started, despite all the difficulties we have encountered,” said President of the Republic of Albania, Ilir Meta, for ADNKronos.
Recently the European Council has paved the way for the opening of accession of negotiations for Albania, along with Northern Macedonia. “When I say European integration” – the president adds – “I mean close cooperation, first and foremost with neighboring countries, and therefore with the old and new Albanian community in Italy, which is not a wall but a very strong bridge for integration”, Meta concludes.