Albania-Italy-Serbia Second Trilateral Meeting held in Tirana

The Second Trilateral Meeting of Foreign Ministers of Albania, Italy and Serbia was held on 20 January 2016 in Tirana, following the practice established in Rome in January 2015.

This meeting addressed a wide range of issues of mutual interest, such as the European integration, security, migration issues and energy security. In his speech during the press conference, Minister Bushati stated that the purpose of this meeting was the consolidation of a trilateral format of cooperation, launched last year in Rome, as well as finding common denominators to advance the region's integration into the EU, in the spirit of the Berlin Process and in view of the Western Balkans’ Summits of Paris in 2016 and Rome in 2017.

"Consistently, Prime Minister Renzi and MFA Gentiloni have expressed their unwavering support on the EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, and we are very grateful for that," stated Bushati, highlighting the strategic relationship with Italy. Focusing on the European path of our region, Bushati expressed support for the further advancement of Serbia in this process, wishing that "thanks to our concrete commitment in the state-building reform process, this year marks a significant step on our European path."

In this context, Minister Gentiloni assured his counterparts that Italy will remain a promoter of the two countries’ integration in the European Union. In this context, Italy will encourage the implementation of joint projects, both in the framework of the Berlin Process as well as through funds provided in the EU Strategy for the Adriatic-Ionian macro - region.

Migratory flows facing the EU and common threats such as international terrorism and violent extremism were another aspect of the trilateral discussions. In this regard, Ministers agreed on a series of initiatives to increase the capacity of law enforcement agencies in the three countries. Noting that no European country is immune to the risk of violent extremism, Minister Gentiloni highlighted the model of religious coexistence in Albania and its role as a stabilizing factor in the region.

Focusing on the need to expand the range of trilateral cooperation in areas such as energy security, law enforcement, trade and youth cooperation, Ministers confirmed the setting up of expert groups for the implementation of joint projects. Minister Dačić stated that that "although the countries have already managed to develop joint projects, they require the support of the EU for the provision of financial instruments".

Highlighting the importance of such formats in strengthening cooperation as well as bilateral, regional and multilateral relations, the three Ministers agreed that the next meeting be held in Belgrade. Within the framework of intensifying cooperation in the field of energy security, Ministers agreed to soon hold a trilateral meeting with Energy Ministers.

Prior to the press conference, Minister Bushati also held bilateral meetings with his Italian and Serbian counterparts, Paolo Gentiloni and Ivica Dačić. During these meetings, they discussed various issues of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, regional developments and beyond.

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