Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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H.E. Mr. President Begaj responds to the media interest regarding the official visit and meetings with the Federal President of Germany, H.E. Mr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier

At the press conference, held on the occasion of the official visit of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Mr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the President of the Republic of Albania, H.E. Mr. Bajram Begaj and his German counterpart responded to the questions from the Albanian and German journalists on this visit.

With respect to the importance of the partnership with Germany and Albania’s future EU membership, President Begaj noted, among other things, that “Germany has been a trusted partner for Albania, closely cooperating with Albanian institutions and providing generous assistance, in the justice reform, the electoral reform and other integration processes. I strongly believe that German assistance during the negotiations process, especially with expertise in  different areas and on different chapters will be greatly valuable”.

Regarding the expectations from the EU-Western Balkans Summit, which will be held in Tirana, President Begaj, among other things, stated: “It is a historic event for Albania and also a very big responsibility for our country. The expectation from this summit is to define and clearly outline the tasks that each EU aspiring country has to handle, the path ahead of us and the processes they must follow. Expectations are high.”

“It is clear that the EU integration process does not have a definite deadline.  Aspiring countries have to complete their tasks. Criteria has to be met, membership is no free gift. It is imperative that our country works closely with all international institutions and all partner countries, in order to go through the necessary legislation and practice approximation, during the negotiations process until eventual accession”, continued President Begaj.

In response to the question as to how much impact will today’s visit have on the future Albania-Germany cooperation agenda, President Begaj confirmed that the visit of a German President, after 27 years, to our country, is a clear indication of Germany’s support of Albania’s path towards the European Union.

President Begaj was also asked on his view regarding Germany’s commitment to solving the conflict between Kosova and Serbia, as well as whether he will ask the Albanian government to take a position on the Open Balkans Initiative, which includes Serbia.

In response to this question, President Begaj stated that: “The Franco-German proposal, or the German-French proposal, or the recently named Brussels proposal, on the dialogue between Kosova and Serbia is welcome. Every effort in support of dialogue and finding a solution between Kosova and Serbia, and every proposal that seeks to address the issue, is welcome, because we have always supported dialogue. Regarding the Berlin Process, I mentioned that this process is very important and the signing of three agreements on mobility, a month ago, opens up premises for new agreements in the future. It is important to implement these agreements, for the countries to respect those signed agreements, and I see no need to advise the government regarding the Open Balkans or the Berlin Process. The government is very seriously committed to the Berlin Process, and preparing for next year’s Summit of the Berlin Process, which will take place in Tirana. This demonstrates that the Albanian government is engaged and working to find new ways and reach new agreements. Also, with respect to the Open Balkans Initiative, which in my opinion is an integral process, if it will be comprehensive, and open to all the countries of the region; and if it will focus only on mobility, freedom of movement, and economic cooperation, then it is well accepted, because Albania has always been in favour of the dialogue, regional cooperation, and in this view I can say that every discussion and every regional cooperation initiative is welcome.”