Bushati meets Rikevics: Latvia supports opening of accession negotiations for Albania

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ditmir Bushati is paying an official visit to Latvia today, in the framework of a regional tour in the Baltic countries.

During the meeting, were praised the very good relations between the two countries in the bilateral framework. Minister Rinkevich expressed deep gratitude for Albania's contribution to NATO, at the Multinational Battalion in Ādaži, Latvia. The two ministers shared the view on the importance of further strengthening of economic cooperation and trade exchanges, cooperation in the field of tourism, culture and education.

The Ministers paid special attention to the European integration process, seen also within the framework of the EU's internal developments, the transformational impact that this policy has in the Balkan region countries, including its security. Minister Bushati informed his colleague about the reform process in Albania, the vetting process and the measures undertaken by the Albanian Government in meeting the five key priorities in the integration process, focusing on the opening of accession negotiations.

The Ministers praised the Enlargement Strategy for Western Balkans, prepared by the European Commission, which determines the importance of further intensification of cooperation between the countries of the region with the EU, in order to achieve the membership objective within the timeline foreseen in this strategy.

Minister Rinkevic praised the 100% alignment of Albania with EU positions and statements and confirmed Latvian full support for opening of accession negotiations following the Commission's recommendation, as well as it expressed the Latvian readiness to assist Albania with expertise in the negotiation process. In this context, the two Ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of European integration.

During the meeting, the ministers exchanged views on the security challenges in the respective regions, and underlined the need to strengthen cooperation with NATO and the EU in facing these challenges.

Minister Rinkevic praised the constructive role of Albania in this region, as a constant factor of stability and regional cooperation.

Minister Bushati, accompanied by Minister Rienkevics, took part in the ceremony of laying flowers to the Freedom Monument.

In addition, Minister Bushati also held meetings with the Mayor of Saeima, Latvia, Ms. Inara Murniece, with the Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Ms. Lolita Cigane, whom he informed about Albania's progress and aspirations towards the EU.

Ms. Murniece and Ms. Cigane expressed gratitude for our country's security contribution within the NATO Multinational Battalion and confirmed the Latvian Parliament's support for the opening of the negotiations.

During his stay in Latvia, Minister Bushati paid a visit to the Albanian contingent serving within the NATO Multinational Battalion in Ādaži, Latvia.

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