Bushati - Zaharieva: Bulgaria supports Albania's accelerated integration into the EU

Albanian and Bulgarian Chief Diplomats - Ditmir Bushati and Ekaterina Zaharieva – agreed on expanding the cooperation specter in the framework of a more focused action plan throughout the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Ministers met at the Albania Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the course of the visit that Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria Ekaterina Zaharieva is paying in Albania.

Parties extended their satisfaction for the excellent level of Albanian-Bulgarian relations, close friendship ties and intensive political dialogue, which is very important not only for the relations between our two countries but also for the entire region.

More specifically, both Ministers highlighted the common interest in expanding and intensifying cooperation in the framework of development projects as well as the need for a strategic concept of energy and infrastructural interconnection between Albania, Bulgaria and Macedonia, in function of the regional economic cohesion and in light of the achievements and objectives outlined at the recent Trieste Summit.

Thanking his counterpart for Bulgaria’s unwavering support towards Albania's EU membership process, Minister Bushati voiced - “We hope that in 2018 we will have a more focused cooperation, given that the priorities of the Bulgarian EU Presidency are important for the integration process of the Western Balkans. Bulgaria is a Balkan country and a neighbor in good and tough days”.

For her part, Deputy PM and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva confirmed once more Bulgaria’s support and praised the reforms undertaken so far by Albania in function of its European path. “We welcome your efforts on the implementation of the judicial reform and the fight against organized crime, as we are convinced that these are interconnected. The results of the recent elections showed that Albanian citizens support the reforms that the Albanian government has undertaken in these areas. I am convinced that by the end of the year you will be able to make a successful progress so that during the Bulgarian Presidency we could take a political decision to open the negotiation process” - the Bulgarian Foreign Minister Zaharieva pointed out.

“We are open not only during our Presidency but also during other Presidencies, to offer you support and expertise. There are no open issues among our countries. History does not separate us but rather unites us” – Zaharieva underscored.

During the meeting, Bushati and Zaharieva also conferred on developments in the region, with specific emphasis on the importance of constructive interaction, in the direct interest of advancing regional cooperation and the common Euro-Atlantic path. 

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