Albania needs time to reach level of democracy, Meta says

Head of state takes stock of bilateral relations in Rome

12 September, 20:05

    (ANSAmed) - Rome, September 12 - Albania "needs time" to reach a "certain level of political culture and democracy", President Illir Meta said during a state visit to Italy on Tuesday.

    The new government led by Edi Rama will continue "to pursue the reform of justice" agreed last July, he added. "All the actors have the duty to apply the contents of the reform that is about the future of our country," Meta said.

    The president met with the speakers of the Lower House and Senate, Laura Boldrini and Pietro Grasso, and the Italian President Sergio Mattarella during his visit. "Italy is the first and irreplaceable partner to Albania in all fields. We have common interests," Meta said. "Albania's stability and security are Italy's stability and security," he continued. The president went on to highlight the strong economic relations between the two countries, with trade in 2016 amounting to approximately 2.2 billion euros. The TAP gas pipeline is an important joint interest and "Albania will complete work on it within two years", he said. "We hope the same thing happens in Italy," he added. On a regional level, relations with Serbia have "improved notably" as the result of continuing dialogue. Dialogue must also continue between the new government of Pristina, as of Monday led by the former UCK leader Ramush Haradinaj, and Belgrade. The solidity of Kosovo also depends on its neighbours, who are called to "support its stability and integration". Belgrade also needs to make this effort, Meta concluded.


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