Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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An old friendship and a strategic partnership that is strengthening day by day, were today in the focus of the meeting with the Italian President Mattarella, during President Begaj’s state visit to Italy

The President of the Republic, H.E.Mr. Bajram Begaj, accompanied by the First Lady Armanda Begaj, started today a two-day state visit to Italy, where he was received with special honors by the President of the Republic of Italy, H.E.Mr. Sergio Mattarella.

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This is the first visit of President Begaj to one of the countries of Western Europe, but also a confirmation of a very good political dialogue at the highest levels between the two countries.

After the ceremonies of the occasion, President Begaj and President Mattarella had a tête-à-tête conversation and then led the official delegations in an extended meeting.

 During the extended meeting between the two delegations, President Begaj appreciated the historical and traditionally friendly relations between the two countries, the solidarity and the support for each other in the most difficult and delicate moments, throughout most of history for the two peoples.

President Begaj expressed his gratitude regarding the will of the Italian side to complete the procedures of the social insurance agreement and expressed the belief that this agreement will become effective very soon, to help both Albanians and Italians who live and work in both countries.

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President Begaj expressed his condolences for the lost lives and regrets for the great damage caused by the floods during the last few days in the region of Emilia Romagna, as well as assured President Mattarella of the solidarity of Albania and the Albanians with the Italian people during these moments.

In particular, the Head of State appreciated the role and support of Italy after the democratic changes over three decades ago.

Expressing gratitude for the multidimensional economic-social support through development and aid programs, as well as the reception of nearly half a million Albanian immigrants in Italy, President Begaj underlined that these events have made interpersonal and interstate relations between the two countries even stronger.

The Head of State also appreciated the very good economic and trade relations, and referring to Italy as the main and privileged trade partner, and as one of the main donors for Albania, he underlined that the opportunities are even greater in this direction.

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The growing presence of Italian entrepreneurs in Albania and the interest to invest in strategic sectors or in major regional projects such as the TAP Pipeline and the Corridor VIII, are the best evidence in this direction, but they should be promoted even more.

President Begaj expressed his deepest gratitude for the great support that Italy has given to the Albania’s European integration process throughout the journey of this process.

Focusing on the role and contribution of the Arbëresh people and the new Albanian community in Italy, the Head of State assessed that thanks to the support of state solidarity, as well as thanks to Italian hospitality, they are better integrated in social, economic life, but also in Italian politics, never feeling the threat of assimilation.

The two Presidents agreed to support joint state initiatives in the preservation and promotion of these common values, which are the foundation of the proven friendship between the two peoples.

One of these initiatives, the Arbëresh heritage fund “Moti i Madh” (“The Great Era”), is related to the joint efforts for the preservation and promotion of the Arbëresh language and traditions in UNESCO.

The two Presidents also paid special attention to the latest developments in the Western  Balkans region, the impact on this region of the consequences concerning Russian military aggression in Ukraine, as well as the increase in the activities of malicious third actors aiming to destabilize the region.

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In the framework of regional developments, President Begaj appreciated Italy’s role in maintaining peace and stability in the Western Balkans, as well as expressed gratitude for considering this region as a priority and for the very significant support regarding the enlargement process within the European Union, but also as an active actor within the Berlin Process.

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President Begaj underlined the importance of the support that Italy has given to Kosovo’s membership in the Council of Europe, but also in other regional organizations, as well as to the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue for the normalization of relations.

At the end of the meeting, the two Presidents agreed to continue encouraging and supporting the institutions of both countries in the further strengthening of cooperation and friendship.