Published on: 14 March 2017

Minister Bushati meets with Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy, Angelino Alfano

Minister of Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bushati received today the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy Angelino Alfano, who is paying a working visit in Tirana.

The two counterparts discussed further strengthening of the Strategic Partnership between the two countries, Albania‘s European integration process and recent developments in the region, with special focus on the security situation.

Minister Alfano’s visit comes also within the framework of Italy’s upcoming Presidency on the Berlin Process and preparations of the Trieste Summit on the 12th of July. Interlocutors shared the view that this Summit should be seen as a mechanism for achieving tangible results for citizens and as a comprehensive instrument, in support of the European integration agenda of Western Balkan countries. The reassertion of the membership prospect becomes even more necessary in the framework of common security challenges that the Euro-Adriatic area is facing.

Furthermore, Minister Bushati thanked Italy for their generous support in Albania’s harmonization process with the European family and the implementation of key reforms, as a result of which Albania is closer to opening accession negotiations with the EU.

“The judicial reform, particularly the Vetting, is the essential element not only for opening negotiations of accession in the EU, but the fundamental step in rebuilding Albanian citizens’ trust in the institutions of the rule of law… We have adopted amendments to the Constitution and the legal reform package unanimously, which rarely has been done in the Albanian political scene. And this reform has no turning back”, Minister Bushati said.

Praising the Albanian Government's efforts in the implementation of reforms and strengthening of the rule of law, Minister Alfano assured that Italy will continue to advocate for our country's integration in the EU.

Regarding recent developments in the region, the two ministers stressed that strengthening regional cooperation, the culture of dialogue and inclusiveness are essential preconditions for deepening the common European perspective. In this regard, Minister Alfano praised the leadership and commitment of our country in the region.

“The Balkan countries have strategic importance not only for Italy, but for the whole Europe. The instability risk in the Balkans is increasing and this could throw doubt on the results achieved so far. The EU should reaffirm its role as a key partner in the region and send a strong and concrete message of cooperation in all Western Balkan countries. Italy considers Albania as a key actor in the Balkan region, an actor that in recent years has contributed to the stability of the region”, stated Minister Alfano.

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