IBNA Special Report
By Edison Kurani
The objective of the Greek authorities is for Albania to be granted the European Union candidate status within the month of June, a time when the EU Greek presidency ends.
This was declared by the speaker of Greek parliament, Vangelis Meimakaris, who is on an official visit. Meimakaris was received by the heads of the Albanian state, his counterpart Ilir Meta, prime minister Edi Rama, president of Republic, Bujar Nishani and leader of opposition, Lulzim Basha.
“Greece fully supports Albania’s efforts for EU integration”, said Meimakaris in the meeting held with prime minister Rama, adding: “One of the objectives of the Greek presidency of the EU Council is for Albania to be granted the EU candidate status until June”.
Meta: Recovery of Greece is very important for Albania, Kosovo is part of the integrating process
A meeting was also held (photo) between the two speakers of parliaments, Meta Meimarakis. Mr. Meta said that for Albania, “the progress of Greece is very important”. “Parliament, the government and the Greek people have made admirable efforts to overcome a very difficult situation and the recovery of Greece is very important for Albania and for the entire European perspective of our region”, said Meta.
Mr. Meimakaris also talked about the Greek crisis: “It’s true that Greece went through a difficult period. A period for which everyone suspected if Greece would be able to succeed. A period for which many said that with these difficulties, Greece could leave the Euro Zone and European Union. But, with the will and sacrifices of the Greek people, we succeeded, we managed to prove wrong all those scenarios which were being speculated with. Thus, not only didn’t we leave Euro zone, but today we also hold the presidency of European Union. Everyone confirms that we exert this presidency with authority and in a way that suits an EU member country”, said Mr. Meimakaris.
Speaking on integration, Meta said that “Greece, as an EU member country, represents an important advocate of the European perspective of the entire region”.
“We praise the commitment of Greece to accelerate the European integration of the entire region, including Kosovo, which like the rest of the region, belongs to the EU”, said Meta.
Speaker of the Albanian parliament said that “like two NATO members, Albania and Greece have a special responsibility to preserve peace, security and stability in the Balkan region”.
Meimarakis: Integration of the Balkan in the EU, only if relations between neighboring countries are normal
The Greek parliamentary speaker talked about the importance of the integration of the Balkan in the EU, stressing that this can only be achieved if relations between neighboring countries are normal: “We have stressed and we have proven by actions that the entire turbulent Balkan region must be integrated in the European Union and NATO, once the criteria of good neighborly relations are met. It’s a known fact that the integration of the entire region in the European Union and NATO will help stability, security, but it will also help the citizens with the region being developed”, said Mr. Meimarakis.
Albanian President: We expect justice on Kareli
President of Republic, Bujar Nishani said that in the meeting that he held with Mr. Meimarakis, they agreed for “bilateral issues to be solved in the spirit of understanding and mutual trust”.
Nishani and Meimarakis exchanged opinions on the progress of economic and financial situation in Greece and praised the citizens and institutions of the neighboring country for the responsibility and sacrifices in facing challenges and the grave situation.
The meeting also discussed the tortures which the Albanian inmate in Greece, Ilia Kareli was subjected to following the murder of a prison guard by him.
“In relation to the serious episodes taken place recently in Greek prisons, Nishani and Meimarakis outlined that these incidents, however serious they are, must not and will not threaten relations between countries and people and expressed their conviction that the institutions of the neighboring country will handle this case with objectivity”, said the Albanian Presidency.
Opposition recalls the Tchams to the speaker of Greek parliament, it also demands the recognition of Kosovo
In the meeting with Mr. Meimarakis, Mr. Basha, leader of the Albanian opposition said that progress has been made in putting behind the problems of the past and by solving many issues which had been left pending. In this framework, he appealed for further engagement from both countries and governments to resolve other issues, such as the one relating to the properties of Tcham citizens displaced after the Second World War.
Mr. Basha said that there are unexploited potentials to boost and consolidate relations. “Good political will and determination must prevail in order to open a new chapter of closer cooperation in all domains”, said Basha.
Basha also addressed another demand for Meimarakis: “The formal recognition of Kosovo by the Greek state would help in consolidating the integrating process of the Western Balkan”, said Basha. /ibna/