Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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Statements, Statements

President Begaj’s statement at the joint press conference with the President of Estonia

Hello everyone!

It is an honor to receive my friend Alar, the President of a partner country – Estonia.

Our two countries, even though they are geographically several thousand kilometers apart, are today closer than ever. This is proven by this presidential visit, which is the first of an Estonian president in Albania. It is also proven with all the support that Estonia has given our country in the recent years.

I thanked the President of Estonia for standing by us and continuing to stand by us in the EU integration process.

Our main strategic objective is to integrate into the big European family. Last year, Albania held the First Intergovernmental Conference with the European Union, thanks to Estonia’s support.

I am confident that the Second Intergovernmental Conference will be held again this year, also with your support.

Not only the integration of Albania, but of the entire Western Balkans region in the EU, would be an extraordinary guarantee for a stabilized and prosperous future of the entire region.

In this context, I appreciated that Estonia has played and continues to play a supporting role for a more stabilized and developed Western Balkans. This is very important, especially in the new geopolitical context and the global situation we are in today.

We specifically focused on the brutal and unjustified Russian aggression against Ukraine, which brought to Europe the turbulent winds of a yesterday we thought we had left behind.

From the beginning, Albania has strongly condemned this aggression.

I underlined the fact that the vision of NATO shown so far in dealing with this situation and the recent expansion of the Alliance with Finland showed that we are stronger than ever, more united, and more determined than ever to protect its values.

I am convinced that this will be clearly demonstrated even with the fastest possible accession of Sweden, as well as at the NATO Summit that will be held very soon near Estonia, in Vilnius, Lithuania.

I also wanted to emphasize the participation of our troops in NATO missions in general, and in the multinational NATO battalion in Latvia in particular, which best reflect Albania’s active role as a NATO member state.

The way we will jointly respond to the current global security challenges will determine how the future will be in the decades to come, for our continent and for the world. That’s why I’m glad that we shared the same approach with the President of Estonia on how we should face these challenges. We can only face complex security challenges together!

During the meeting, I underlined that Albania, as well as the Western Balkan region, or even the Baltic countries, are threatened by the influences of malicious third actors, who do not share the same values with us.

I expressed my gratitude to my friend for the multidimensional help they have given to our country over the years. The programs and projects where Estonia has made its contribution to Albania include the fields of security or the judicial system, to electronic government. Estonia is the first country in the European Union to provide electronic services, so we have a lot to learn from you, and further cooperation in this direction would be welcomed.

Focusing on economic cooperation, I underlined that the experts and institutions of both countries should explore better all the possibilities of further cooperation. I expressed the belief that the areas where we can cooperate are endless, especially in the field of information technology, start-ups, energy, research, innovation, education, biodiversity issues and so on. The legal framework we have in place for avoiding double taxation enables such a thing, even in the field of tourism.

Another dimension we focused on during our meeting, and where the cooperation between the two countries has been quite fruitful, is that within the framework of international organizations, where I specifically highlighted the mutual support for the United Nations Security Council.

I hailed the support that Estonia has given to Kosovo, in its Euro-Atlantic journey, as well as for its membership in international organizations. This support is also a clear indication of Estonia’s willingness to help the Western Balkans region see the future.

I underlined with the President that the events of the last few days in Kosovo reminded us once again of the importance to implement as soon as possible the agreement publicly agreed in Brussels and its annexes in Ohrid by Serbia and Kosovo.

Dear Mr. President,

Your visit today is the first of an Estonian president, but I’m certain it won’t be the last!

As last year we celebrated the 30th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations, I am confident that more fruitful decades of cooperation are awaiting us in the future.

Have a pleasant stay in Albania!