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Greek Foreign Minister Meets Albanian Prime Minister

Greek foreign minister meets Albanian prime minister

Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendias, after his meeting with the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama (Tirana) – October 20, 2020 Your Excellency, Prime Minister, thank you very much for your reception. It is my pleasure that, by order of the Prime Minister, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, I return to Albania, after a year. The last time I came here again on
his orders, after the strong earthquake in Durres, a few hours later, to explore how we can stand by the friendly Albanian people and their government. I would like to thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, from the bottom of my heart for your kind words for our effort. It is an effort of friends and I think that they reflect the real feelings of the Greek people and the Greek society towards the friendly Albanian people. Fortunately, today my visit is taking place in much better conditions, Mr Prime Minister. Before expanding on what we have discussed, I would like to begin by congratulating you on the successful OSCE Presidency for this year. Albania has shown that it can exercise an effective presidency in a coronavirus situation and that is very important for Albania, very important for your government, but also very important for our region. I come to our bilateral relations. They unite us a lot. And my presence here today aims to highlight a positive and dynamic agenda in our relations. We have a strong will to advance these relations even further and to resolve any outstanding issues in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect. A particularly important bridge of our ties is, first of all, the Greek national minority living in Albania. The thousands of Albanian citizens living and working in Greece are also a bridge. Allow me, Mr. Prime Minister, to emphasize the significant financial contribution of both Greek citizens to the economic development of Albania and Albanians to the economic development of Greece. As you know, Greece and Albania, we have challenges to face, For our part, we are always ready to make every effort with good faith and a spirit of cooperation – as befits European countries, such as Greece and Albania – for the benefit of our countries and peoples. We believe that this cooperation can strengthen Albania’s accession to the EU, with a focus on good neighborly relations that will strengthen stability in our sensitive region. Albania’s entry into the EU, Prime Minister, is our common goal. We look forward to meeting Albania, including the transfer of know-how, where you and your government deem it useful. In this context, I would like to emphasize that Greece, through the Thessaloniki Agenda, which was launched almost two decades ago, firmly and over time supports as a strategic goal the accession process of the Western Balkans. Both with the Prime Minister and with the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Cakaj, earlier, we had the opportunity to discuss a very broad topic. We discussed the issue of defining the maritime zones between Greece and Albania. Resolving this dispute will be beneficial for both our countries and, of course, I heard with particular interest and complete agreement the position of the Prime Minister, Mr. Rama, that this solution will be based on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea that both countries have endorsed. And I am particularly pleased to repeat what the Prime Minister has just said, that, having thoroughly considered this issue, we have agreed that Greece and Albania should proceed together to bring this issue to international justice. At the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Our agreement, between Greece and Albania, is based on the firm commitment of both countries to international legitimacy and the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes. We also referred to the 1996 agreement between Greece and Albania and agreed that this 1996 agreement needs to be deepened and strengthened. To jointly proceed to a new strategic cooperation agreement between our two countries and to organize G2G, government-to-government, meeting and mechanism between the two friendly countries. We talked about the issues of the war. That, Mr Prime Minister, is an anachronism, I am sure we will solve that together. It is my great pleasure to have the opportunity to say this here from Tirana to the Albanian public after an order from Prime Minister Mitsotakis. We also talked about the bridge – one of the bridges that connect us. I am referring to the members of the minority and the spirit that should govern good neighborly relations. We must not waste any more time. I think we have achieved a lot in our relationships and it is up to us to go even further. And I was pleased to see the progress that the Albanian side has made in the areas of issues concerning the Greek national minority. I think that all this can and can be addressed in the context of our positive agenda. Let me conclude by emphasizing that, contrary to the efforts of the Western Balkan countries in the context of their European perspective, another country in our wider region, which is still a candidate for EU membership, is not moving in this direction. . To be precise, it is moving in the opposite direction. I am referring to our neighbour Turkey. It continues to violate the fundamental criteria for EU membership every day, both politically and economically. In this context, I had to send a letter to the Commissioner for Enlargement, Mr Varhelyi, stressing that Turkey is violating the Customs Union and asked that the adoption of measures be considered immediately. I also raised the issue of the Commission examining infringements in their entirety, up to the consideration of the suspension of the Customs Union, as a clear message of condemnation for the serial delinquent Turkish conduct. I pointed out to my European counterparts, to my fellow Foreign Ministers, the latest extremely worrying illegal actions in the Eastern Mediterranean and stressed the need to stop the export of military equipment and military equipment to Turkey, as this equipment is used in operations carried out by our area. Mr Prime Minister, I end with something you just said: what we all need to build, what our common goal is, is a peaceful future with prosperity for all. My joint effort is served by my presence today in Tirana. I’m glad to be here with you today. Thank you very much for your warm words about Greece, for the Prime Minister K. Mitsotakis, for me, for the Greek-Albanian friendship. Thank you very much. Source: Government of Greece

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