Bushati receives his Luxembourg’s counterpart Asselborn in Tirana: 2018 may be a very good year for Albania to open negotiations

Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ditmir Bushati held today a meeting with Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Immigration, and Asylum, for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, who is making an official visit to the country. Today’s meeting in Tirana reaffirms the common will of both governments to strengthen and intensify cooperation between our two countries.

Minister Bushati informed his counterpart about the concrete steps undertaken by the Albanian government in the field of reforms for the fulfilment of the membership priorities, especially the justice reform, which is directly connected to each of the priorities and above all the life of every Albanian citizen. “Albania is grateful to Luxembourg for the support it has given in the process of European integration since the candidate status was granted up through the difficult process of reforms, which we hope will soon lead us towards opening of membership negotiations" - Minister Bushati stressed.

Relations between our two countries are stable and consolidated. Albania and Luxembourg have a good cooperation within the international organizations as well, including NATO in which they interact as two member countries exchanging views on the security environment in the region. As regards bilateral relations, both interlocutors agreed that more is needed to intensify relations especially in the economic field, to increase trade exchanges and attract Luxembourg's investment in the country. In this context, parties committed to conclude as soon as feasible the agreement on avoiding double taxation, which would provide facilities for Luxembourg investors who wish to invest in our country and vice versa.

Minister Bushati praised Luxembourg's special attention on the Balkan region and his position in favour of the advancement of our countries towards the EU and particularly of Albania's efforts in this process. Ministers shared the opinion that regional cooperation has improved considerably in recent years, especially in terms of political dialogue and increased communication among countries in all dimensions. "We are working hard that the Western Balkans become a space of peace, economic and trade cooperation without obstacles and barriers, thus investing in a common, prosperous future, strengthening friendship and moving towards reconciliation",  Minister Bushati highlighted.

During the press conference, which followed the bilateral meeting, Minister Asselborn dwelt on some of the most important recent events in the EU, referring in particular to the events in Spain, the elections in Germany and Brexit. In this context, he stressed the importance of EU enlargement including the Western Balkan countries. “In 2009, Albania submitted its formal application for EU membership. In 2014, it received the status of candidate country, and 2018 may be a very good year for opening negotiations. There are good opportunities and Luxembourg will continue to support it in this process "- Minister Asselborn emphasized.

Following the press conference and the journalists’ enquiry as regards the current events in Spain and the parallelism between Catalonia and Kosovo, Ministers Bushati and Asselborn voiced that any comparison to Crimea and Catalonia is ungrounded. "The decision of the International Court of Justice on Kosovo has closed any further discussion from the standpoint of international law" - Minister Bushati pointed out. On his part, Minister Asselborn underscored that "In Kosovo, there was a war, while in Catalonia there is no war and this is the main difference between these two cases."

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