Zaev and Kurti: We have strong political will to strengthen and deepen bilateral relations and cooperation in all areas

Zaev and Kurti: We have strong political will to strengthen and deepen bilateral relations and cooperation in all areas

Prime Ministers of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Kosovo Zoran Zaev and Albin Kurti at the end of the working visit of the Kosovo government to Skopje on the occasion of the joint intergovernmental meeting, held a press conference stressing that they have reasons to express great satisfaction with the meeting, which was assessed as historic and as a point of significant improvement of relations between Skopje and Pristina.

In his speech, Prime Minister Zaev stressed that for years the two countries have been developing excellent bilateral relations and successful cooperation based on the principles of mutual support and respect.

“I consider today’s first joint session between the governments of the two countries as an extremely positive impetus for further development and intensification of our relations and comprehensive cooperation. “Although we held the joint session in complex circumstances due to the pandemic with COVID-19, it is a clear expression of our political will and the interests of both countries to further strengthen and deepen bilateral relations and cooperation in all areas of mutual interest,” PM Zaev told the press conference.

He added that North Macedonia and Kosovo have many common interests and that accordingly the economies of the two countries are oriented towards each other.

“Therefore, in the package of signed agreements, among others, there was an agreement on the merger of the two highways on the border crossing Blace -Jankovic in the framework of the construction of the highway section Skopje – Blace, the contract for feasibility study for the Prizren – Tetovo road, the Agreement on the establishment of a common border, “as well as the Agreement on a joint skiing project connecting Brezovica with Popova Shapka, which is also part of the Agreement on cooperation in the tourism sector,” PM Zaev said.

He added that this is only a set of 11 agreements, memoranda and cooperation programmes that include cooperation in cross-border projects with the support of EU IPA programmes, cooperation in the energy sector, as well as in the field of culture and promotion of joint initiatives for innovation and technological development.

Zaev stressed that for North Macedonia Kosovo is one of the most important trade partners and expects that this year the total value of mutual trade will exceed 400 million euros.

Prime Minister Zaev pointed out that the two countries share another strategic goal – EU membership.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere support for visa liberalization for Kosovo with the European Union and to reiterate that the Republic of North Macedonia is ready to share with the Republic of Kosovo the experiences from our NATO accession to the accession of our neighbor. The Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev stressed and added that in this direction he sees the deployment of 44 members of the North Macedonian Army as part of KFOR.

In the end, Prime Minister Zaev stressed that today was a beautiful and fruitful day and that in the coming period the ministers will commit themselves to implement the tasks of the signed agreements as an impetus for the development of cooperation in many other areas in the future.

Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo Albin Kurti at the press conference assessed the joint meeting of the governments of the two countries as a historic event in the year when North Macedonia celebrates 30 years of independence and the Republic of Kosovo 13 years of independence.

Prime Minister Kurti stressed that the joint session will encourage the expansion of cooperation between the two countries in many new areas.

He expressed gratitude for the warm welcome and the excellent preparation that preceded the joint session, which he described as a new stage for joint projects that will facilitate the life of citizens on both sides of the border between our countries.

“So far we have 44 and now 11 more agreements and this in itself speaks for the dynamic and comprehensive cooperation between North Macedonia and Kosovo. “As countries with the same goals for European integration, cross-border cooperation and cooperation in the fight against organized and transnational crime, as well as corruption are very important,” Prime Minister Kurti said at a press conference after the joint meeting of the governments of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Kosovo./ibna