Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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President Begaj receives the President of the Republic of Croatia, Zoran Milanovic

The President of the Republic, H.E. Mr Bajram Begaj, received today in a state visit the President of the Republic of Croatia, H.E. Mr Zoran Milanovic. The two countries’ leaders held a one-on-one meeting after the official welcome ceremony. Then, the extended discussion of the official delegations was held under their leadership.
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During the joint press conference, the two heads of state recognised the excellent strategic partnership relations between the two countries. President Begaj stated in his speech that the visit of President Milanovic to Tirana comes at a critical moment, especially for the Western Balkans region, where Albania and Croatia are active contributors and essential factors in maintaining the peace and stability of the region.

The two presidents paid particular attention to regional developments. “We condemned the dramatic events in northern Kosovo and the terrorist and criminal attack on the police in Banjskë on September 24th this year. I expressed to my friend my concern about the preparations and heavy military armament used by the terrorist group. I highlighted the European Union’s need to exert more pressure to conclude investigations and determine responsibilities, directly impacting the peace and security of the entire region,” stated President Begaj.

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The Head of State also underlined that, following the recent terrorist acts of Hamas against Israel, it becomes even more imperative for the European Union and NATO to strongly discourage Serbia’s provocative approach towards Kosovo.
President Begaj appreciated Croatia’s support for Kosovo and President Milanović’s persistent calls for international recognition, NATO membership, and adherence to its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
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“We agreed that dialogue remains the only path to normaliserelations between Kosovo and Serbia, leading to mutual recognition. In this respect, I pointed out that following the terrorist attack on September 24th in Banjskë, things are no longer the same as before, and the mediators of this dialogue must adopt a new approach,” added the Head of State.

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President Begaj informed President Milanović of the challenges faced by the Albanian minority in the Presevo Valley, highlighting that Albanians have every right to be treated following European standards, just like minorities in Albania, Croatia and Kosovo.

President Begaj thanked President Milanovic for the significant support that he and the Croatian institutions have given to theEuropean integration process of Albania and other Western Balkans countries. He underlined that the current geopolitical developments have made the E.U. enlargement process with the Western Balkan countries a strategic necessity and that Albania remains a reliable partner of the European Union, especially regarding foreign and security policy. I expressed confidence in Croatia’s steadfast support for the enlargement process in this context.

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Today’s discussions focused on increasing economic and commercial cooperation. Given Croatia’s experience and expertise in tourism, energy, infrastructure, and agriculture, the Head of State noted that more can be done to encourage investments in these areas. Establishing a direct airline route between the two capital cities, Tirana and Zagreb, and passenger transportation links between our two countries’ main ports would have a significant economic impact, especially in tourism.

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