Pahor: Slovenia Will Support Albanian Membership of EU
STA, 4 March 2019 - President Borut Pahor started his two-day official visit to Albania on Monday by meeting his counterpart Ilir Meta and promising continued Slovenian support for Albania's efforts to join the EU. Pahor and Meta also confirmed the interest of both countries to expand political and business cooperation.
Economic & trade relations & also regional coop. the main focus of today’s talks w/ President of #Slovenia @BorutPahor. Grateful for ?? support in the framework of the #european integration process & in opening accession negotiations with #EU. ????? pic.twitter.com/utRM7VGZha— Ilir Meta (@ilirmetazyrtar) March 4, 2019
The two presidents agreed that bilateral political cooperation is good, and that bilateral relations are friendly and without open issues, Pahor's office said in a press release.
The Slovenian president believes that there are numerous opportunities for further cooperation, especially in business, where it has been relatively modest so far.
Albania was only the 58th Slovenian trade partner in 2017, with the countries exchanging EUR 53.1m in goods. Bilateral trade picked up somewhat last year.
Meta acquainted Pahor with the progress Albania has made in implementing the key priorities required to open the EU accession negotiations. He expects that Albania will get the green light to launch the talks in June.
Srečanje predsednika Republike Slovenije Boruta Pahorja s predsednikom Vlade Republike Albanije Edijem Ramo. pic.twitter.com/KqkBSM664H— Borut Pahor (@BorutPahor) March 4, 2019
Very pleased to welcome to Tirana, President of #Slovenia @BorutPahor. Strong common will & interest to give a new impulse & intensify relations btw. the two countries. Slovenia is an important regional and #european partner for #Albania. ????? pic.twitter.com/pX1wMLBXr8— Ilir Meta (@ilirmetazyrtar) March 4, 2019
Pahor said that Slovenia would continue to support Albania in these efforts and promised assistance in and support for the reform process in Albania.
He stressed that the enlargement of the EU to the Western Balkans should be treated as a geopolitical and not a technical issue.
The two presidents also discussed Albania's preparations to host a meeting of a summit of the Brdo-Brijuni Process on 8 and 9 May. They agreed that the regional cooperation initiative had resulted in numerous positive shifts.
On the first day of the visit, Pahor also met Prime Minister Edi Rama, and is also scheduled to meet Lulzim Basha, the head of the Democratic Party of Albania, the main opposition party in the country.
On Tuesday, Pahor Pahor will meet with Chairman of the Parliament of Albania Gramoz Ruci and Mayor of Tirana Erion Velia.
He will visit the nearby town of Kruje, the home town of national hero Skenderbeg (1405-1468).