Minister Bushati pays visit to France, on the eve of Paris Summit

Minister Bushati paid a visit to France in the framework of preparations for the Western Balkans’ Summit to be held in Paris in early July. It will be the next stage of the Berlin Process, following the summits held in Berlin (2014) and Vienna (2015).

Minister Bushati and French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault reaffirmed the excellent relations between Albania and France. They also expressed their joint commitment to further intensify bilateral cooperation in strategic sectors, based on success stories in the field of energy and defense.

Minister Bushati informed Minister Ayrault on the progress of state-consolidating reforms undertaken by the Albanian government as part of the EU accession process. Focusing on the importance of completing the justice reform, Minister Ayrault welcomed the determination of the Albanian government to lead to its adoption, which is crucial for the country's advancement towards EU integration. "In this process, Albania will have France's support and encouragement," Minister Ayrault stated.

Moreover, Minister Bushati assured Minister Ayrault on the commitment of the Albanian government to strengthen rule of law in economy. In this context, he praised the involvement of French companies in strategic investments in Albania and the region, such as TAP. With regard to challenges that Europe is currently facing concerning terrorism and violent extremism, both ministers reaffirmed the need for the coordination of specialized agencies in tackling them.

The meeting of Foreign Ministers of the WB with ministers Jean-Marc Ayrault and Harlem Desir, Commissioner Hahn and representatives of EU member states highlighted their joint commitment to the Paris Summit, which aims at bringing countries in the region closer to the European Union through concrete projects in the fields of transport and energy, as well as creating real opportunities for young people in the region.

In this context, Minister Bushati underlined the importance of the draft submitted by Albania on the rehabilitation of the Tirana-Durres railway, the construction of the ramification to Rinas and measures taken to finance the electric interconnection line with Macedonia.

Furthermore, Minister Bushati discussed the preparations led by Albania to sign, at the Paris Summit, the agreement on the establishment of the Regional Youth Cooperation Office in Tirana, which will fund projects that increase the mobility of young people in the region, while enhancing their opportunities for vocational training and cultural exchanges. "The Paris Summit should provide new opportunities for the youth, especially in terms of cooperation among universities and mutual recognition of diplomas," Minister Bushati stated.

Underlining the importance of the European integration process for state-consolidating reforms, Minister Bushati stated that "the reform of the judicial system constitutes a common challenge for all countries in the region". In this context, he also highlighted the need to adopt a regional approach in this regard.

Participants engaged to accelerate the implementation of commitments made in terms of administrative and legal measures in the field of transport and energy, with a view to submit concrete achievements at the Paris Summit;

During his visit to France, Minister Bushati also held meetings with President of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the French National Assembly, Mrs. Elisabeth Guigou and Secretary General for European Affairs, Philippe Léglise-Costa.

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