Meeting of Ministers of Foreign and Internal Affairs of Greece, Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria on migration crisis held in Thessaloniki

Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati and Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri attended the meeting of Foreign and Interior Ministers of Greece, Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria on the migration crisis, held in Thessaloniki.

This ministerial focused on the migration crisis caused by the flow of refugees fleeing their homes from war and conflict hotbeds in the Middle East, strengthening of dialogue and enhancement of cross-border cooperation among the four countries.

Ministers focused on the spirit of commitments undertaken at the High-Level Summit in October 2015 on the refugee flow along the Western Balkans’ line. The Thessaloniki summit emphasized the identification of the human aspect in addressing this issue, the need for coordination and reinforcement of action and operational measures with a view to address challenges brought about by this crisis, including the risk of human trafficking, terrorism and security threats. In this context, Ministers expressed their determination to protect our values ​​and respect freedoms and fundamental human rights.

The intensification of the comprehensive cooperation agenda on migration between the European Union and Western Balkan countries was also an important topic in this meeting.

Minister Bushati reiterated the commitment of our country to be part of a common European solution based on a sense of solidarity as well as the capacity and will to keep the values, principles and respect for international law alive. " The qualitative cooperation between candidate countries and EU member states should be transformed into an opportunity to strengthen the political commitment and accelerate the integration process of Western Balkan countries," he stated.

"We support this meeting’s format, which carries a special value not only to exchange experiences on cross-border cooperation, but also to identify risks stemming from the change of the security environment in the south and east of the Mediterranean," Minister Bushati underscored.

Moreover, in the framework of this Ministerial, Minister Bushati held a bilateral meeting with Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias. Both ministers dwelt on further pursuing communication on the already started process of addressing and finding solutions to all bilateral issues, the agenda of economic cooperation, regional developments and European integration of the Western Balkans. Parties reiterated the importance of carrying on with the dialogue between our countries’ governments, in the framework of strengthening the spirit of mutual trust as well as the need to materialize action in order to advance towards the resolution of bilateral issues.

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