Minister Bushati calls for greater American engagement in facing the security challenges in Western Balkan

In the framework of his visit to the USA, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs attended an event organized by the Center for European Policy Analysis. The event’s theme was Albania’s point of view on Regional security, Energy and Atlanticism in the Western Balkans.

Invited to this moderate panel by Mr. Janusz Bugajski and in the presence of an audience of analysts and diplomats in Washington, Minister Bushati presented a panorama of the security challenges that our societies and in particular the Western Balkans are facing today.

Minister Bushati praised that Western Balkans makes up a complex region as regards the security challenges, listing many elements which require increased attention and cooperation, not only among the countries of the region but also by the European Union and United States of America.

Minister Bushati highlighted that this increased attention becomes indispensable if we take into consideration that our region, which is not recovered yet from the past national reminiscences, is easily exposed and threatened by the influence of the third actors as well as by the radicalization and foreign fighters engaged in the Syrian conflict.

Focusing on the major energy projects such as the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline and the perspective for its enlargement through Albania, Montenegro, Croatia in the Ionian-Adriatic Pipeline project, the strategic importance of our region to the EU in its challenge of diversifying energy sources and reducing dependence, becomes stronger.

Concentrating on the role of Albania in the region, Minister Bushati, emphasized that Albania has a long-term strategic interest to contribute to the peace and stability of the region. In this context, it has used all the international platforms in order to promote this position.

He referred specifically to the support Albania has given to the Euro-Atlantic integration process of the NATO’s aspirant countries from Western Balkans.

Minister Bushati assessed that this approach is materialized even in the regional cooperation, where recently Albania, Montenegro and Croatia, as three allies in the NATO along the Adriatic are cooperating on a trilateral platform. In this way they would contribute more not only to the regional security platforms but also would promote interconnectivity and social development in the Western Balkans.

Minister Bushati also met with the congressman from Florida, Matt Gaetz. They discussed recent developments in Abania and the region. In his address, congressman Gaetz said that we have a clear mandate to govern and we have our full support for the state-consolidation reforms we have undertaken.

The USA is particularly interested in the reforms in the field of the rule of law and in the potential these reforms can release on the Albanian economy. Furthermore, the congressman underscored the interest that the USA has in the sector of energy in Albania.

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