Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë



Meeting of President Begaj with the Regional President of Calabria. President Begaj: Calabria First! We’re exploring new avenues for enhancing economic cooperation.

The President of the Republic of Albania, Bajram Begaj, began an official multi-day visit to the Arbëreshë-populated municipalities in the Calabria region, at the invitation of Calabrian authorities and the Regional Institute of the Arbëreshë Community of Calabria.

In Catanzaro, President Begaj met with Roberto Occhiuto, the Regional President of Calabria, and other representatives of the region’s municipalities and provinces. They discussed Italy and Albania’s commitment to support the historic Arbëreshë diaspora and the Albanian community as a whole. Particular emphasis was placed on intensifying economic and trade cooperation between Albania and the Calabria region.


Following the meeting with Calabria’s Regional President, Roberto Occhiuto, President Begaj made the following statement:

“I’m truly honored to be here with you today. My deepest thanks to the Regional President of Calabria and the Regional Institute of the Arbëreshë Community of Calabria for the invitation, hospitality, and unwavering support. Calabria is the new homeland of our ancestors who were compelled to leave their lands, not by choice but by invaders.

Despite initial hardships, they managed to inherit, preserve, and promote their language, traditions, culture, and every aspect of Albanian identity.

I’m here to thank the descendants of the Arbëreshë Renaissance figures, who contributed immensely to Albania’s independence and the strengthening of the Albanian state. They are an inspiration, a unique model of patriotism.

In fact, the bells have been ringing for six centuries, showcasing the heartbeats of Albanians for their homeland.

I wish I could meet each individual in your region during this visit, especially to honor those Arbëreshë with an undisputed reputation and authority.

I’d like to particularly thank the Regional President of Calabria for the warm conversation we had. Albania sees Italy as a friendly gateway to the European Community. We have strong political ties and have had high-level mutual visits that haven’t happened before.

Furthermore, Italy ranks first in trade exchanges with Albania, but together with the President, we believe that Calabria should be the priority.

In the future, we’ll explore all possible cooperation opportunities in economic and trade areas of mutual interest. The President has already facilitated a direct flight route, connecting Tirana to Calabria in just 50 minutes. Initial steps have been taken, and we’ll now explore further cooperation opportunities through universities and trade exchanges in mutually beneficial sectors.

Thank you!”