Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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Statement by the President of the Republic, H.E.Mr. Bajram Begaj

Hello everyone,

Firstly, I would like to express my thanks to the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Mrs. Nataša Pirc Musar for the invitation, and for the very warm and friendly hospitality she has shown me and my accompanying delegation.

At the beginning of the meeting, I underlined Albania’s great interest in deepening cooperation with Slovenia, both bilaterally and regionally.

Regarding the latter, I expressed my gratitude for the very important role that Slovenia and President Pirc Musar play for the stability, promotion of the spirit of cooperation, and the development of this region.

I underlined that the moment of this visit coincides with very important developments, both for our region and the entire world, influenced by Russian aggression in Ukraine and important geopolitical developments.

Along with President Pirc Musar, we shared the view that the relations between the two countries are very good and that the political dialogue is at the highest levels, which is also shown by my visit here today.

We consider Slovenia an important regional and European partner.

I expressed special gratitude for the essential and continuous support, that Slovenia has given to the process of Albania’s integration into the European Union in particular, as well as the enlargement process with all the countries of the Western Balkans in general.

I also appreciated the significant role that Slovenia, through the Brdo-Brijun Process, but also the Bled Strategic Forum, has played for keeping the Western Balkans region in the attention of the European Union’s agenda.

Along with President Pirc Musar, we shared the opinion, that due to recent geopolitical developments, but also thanks to the contribution of Slovenia and the Group of Western Balkan countries in the forums mentioned above, today we have a new approach of the European Union regarding the enlargement process with the countries of our region. The integration process is no longer considered simply as a technical issue, but also as a strategic choice and vision.

I expressed my gratitude for the role of Slovenia, particularly for the commitment of President Pirc Musar, in support of stability, security, understanding, dialogue and economic prosperity of the countries of the Western Balkans.

I expressed the belief that Slovenia’s support in this direction will continue even stronger and more essential.

We must continue to cooperate closely bound by our NATO partnership and shared strategic interests in our region, and beyond.

I expressed my deep gratitude for the solidarity and support of Slovenia to overcome the consequences of the devastating earthquake of November 2019, in particular for the construction of a middle school in the district of Kruja.

Certainly, we paid special attention to economic cooperation and the need for its better promotion.

We note with pleasure the growing trend of this cooperation, especially in the field of trade in goods and services, where tourism obviously occupies a very important place.

I assured President Pirc Musar that Albania is interested in more Slovenian investments in Albania, highlighting the progress made and evaluated by international organizations, in terms of economic freedom and competition.

I also asked the President to use her influence as much as possible concerning the restoration of the direct air line Ljubljana-Tirana, a line which in the past has been very successful, and which can give a greater impetus to cooperation in the field of tourism, also the interaction of businesses.

We also discussed other areas of mutual interest, where we focused on the field of education and culture, interested in harmonizing cooperation in these areas.

I thanked President Pirc Musar for the good integration of the Albanian diaspora in Slovenia, thanks to the approved legal framework and the opportunities to preserve the national identity, as well as the native language and culture. I expressed my pleasure that this integration is also being manifested in the field of politics, where many citizens of Albanian origin are today elected to various municipal councils in Slovenia.

Part of our conversations was the Russian military aggression in Ukraine, for which I introduced President Pirc Musa the contribution made by Albania to the United Nations Security Council, and I underlined that Albania is steadfast in supporting Ukraine.

Last but not least, I invited President Pirc Musar for a state visit to Albania, with the desire to strengthen the cooperation between our two countries.

Thank you!