Cakaj-Maas meeting in Berlin: Following reforms and European Commission’s positive recommendation, Albania is ready for the start of talks

In the course of his official visit to Germany, Acting Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Gent Cakaj met the German Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas to discuss the European ambitions cherished by Albania and the states across the Balkans.

In this meeting, Acting Minister Cakaj thanked the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the solid and unstinting support for Albania on its European journey.

The meeting centred around the decision to be made by European countries about the start of negotiations with Albania following the unequivocal recommendation contained in the European Commission’s report.

Acting Minister Cakaj advised his German counterpart of the progress of reforms effected by the Government of Albania in the framework of Albania’s integration into Europe, as well as of the total fulfilment of the three conditions set by the European Council in June 2018.

The Head of the Albanian diplomacy considered the justice reform to be of historic importance, and of the kind not carried out by any other country from across the region, with such reform, according to him, being at its final stage.

‘Last year, the EU General Affairs Council took the decision to open negotiations in 2019, and we were convinced that such opening would take place automatically, however based on an intensive work to make sure that the vetting process is terminated, the new judicial bodies are established, and tangible results are achieved in the fight against corruption and organised crime. The European Commission’s report has confirmed the commitment made by the Government of Albania to meet these criteria from the technical point of view,’ Acting Minister Cakaj stated.

Minister Maas reconfirmed that, in Germany’s view, negotiations with Albania must also be launched for strategic causes relating to the Western Balkans. Additionally, he recognised the importance of Albania’s role at the head of the OSCE, specifying it not merely a challenge, but also a great opportunity for the country to perform internationally.

The German Minister of Foreign Affairs assured Acting Minister Cakaj of Germany’s solid support both in the bilateral aspect, and in Albania’s ambitions to assume leadership of multilateral organisations.

In this regard, it was agreed that the bilateral agenda should be run with full intensity.

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