Italy has always supported Albania's EU bid, says FM

Working on inter-governmental conference

20 November, 16:25

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, NOVEMBER 20 - Italian foreign minister Luigi DI Maio said Friday at a press conference in Tirana that "Italy has always stood by Albania" in its attempt to become an EU member state. Praising Albania's ''courageous domestic reforms'', Di Maio noted that ''our efforts will continue and will be unceasing. Now the closest objective is to work on making sure that the first inter-governmental conference is calle with both Albania and North Macedonia as soon as possible.

    On the issue of relations between Pristina and Belgrade, ''Italy was welcomed the resumption of dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina as part of EU facilitation and continues to encourage both the parties to work with a constructive approach directed at the future, in line with'' their potential future in the EU, he said. Italy and Albania on Friday signed a declaration to set up a joint economic commission ''to promoter commercial and investment opportunities in a structured manner for both our countries, and to deal with and resolve bilateral issues at the economic level'', he added. ''A particularly promising sector is that of infrastructure, thanks in part to the plan for the modernisation of the transportation sector approved by the Albanian government, with a view towards complementariness with the economic and investment plan for the Western Balkans presented by the EU Commission,'' he said. ''Our economic-trade relations are already very solid, as shown by the fact that Italy is both the top supplier and top client for Albania. However,'' he said, ''we can and must be even better.'' Albanian prime minister Edi Rama noted that it had bene 10 years since the signing of a strategic partnership between Italy and Albania, a ''milestone'' in bilateral relations that Tirana now wants to deepen with dialogue on specific issues, he said, citing the transportation, infrastructure, and digitalisation sectors. (ANSA).

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