President Radev: Bulgaria says unconditionally “Yes“ to Albania for the start of EU Negotiations

Diplomacy | April 5, 2022, Tuesday // 12:51|  views

Albanian President Ilir Meta (left) and Bulgarian President Rumen Radev (right) @Bulgarian National Television

The President of the Republic of Albania Ilir Meta is on a two-day official visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev. The two presidents made statements after their meeting.

“Bulgaria and Albania are not just allies, we are partners, friends. The significant Bulgarian minority in the Republic of Albania also makes a significant contribution to this”, said President Radev.

Our countries share a common vision for the future of our region, on the principle of good neighborliness, following the principles of the European Union and NATO.

The head of state reported as positive the fact that there is already a direct flight connection between Sofia and Tirana.

“An important part of our dialogue was the strengthening of security in the region, and I welcome Albania's readiness to join the multinational battle group. We expect the platoon to arrive in Bulgaria soon and be fully integrated into this battle group,” said Rumen Radev

“Bulgaria supports the start of EU negotiations with the Republic of Albania, unconditionally.” He noted the deep reforms undertaken by the Albanian side, with perseverance and a clear focus in all important areas. “Bulgaria has always been a major driver of the enlargement process to the Western Balkans,” the head of state said.

The two condemned the fratricidal war in Ukraine, as well as called for an independent international investigation into the atrocities in Bucha.

“We also looked at the strategic project ‘Corridor No. 8’. There is a delay, but what we have started - the signed memorandum between Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Albania to consider this project in unity is key. The crisis has shown that this project is important for security,” said Rumen Radev.

“I am here to return the gesture for your visit after the severe earthquake. Your support was important to us. Sofia is an important city for all Albanians. It was home to many of our national revivalists. From Sofia, they inspired and prepared Albania's independence”, said Ilir Meta, President of Albania.

“There are now hundreds of students from Albania who have studied and are studying in Bulgaria.

It is important that we strengthen our partnership and security. We are closer to Bulgaria than ever before and we welcome all the efforts that your country is making as an important member of NATO.”

“We fully support Ukraine's sovereignty, condemn the barbaric crimes known to all that must be investigated internationally, and resolve all issues. We also want to show our commitment to our European and Euro-Atlantic orientation. The stability of the Western Balkans is important for us, but also for Bulgaria, which as a country is committed to the progress of our region in this direction.”

“Thank you for your support in starting EU membership negotiations for both Albania and North Macedonia, this is a useful strategic approach,” the Albanian president said.

“All minorities in Albania are protected, as is the Bulgarian one, and every effort is being made to make them proud of their identity and to always be well integrated and supported by all institutions,” Meta added.

At 9.00 a.m. in front of the church-monument “St. Alexander Nevsky” the head of state Rumen Radev welcomed his Albanian counterpart with an official ceremony. President Meta laid a wreath at the Monument to the Unknown Soldier.

Afterwards, the two presidents spoke in private, and plenary talks took place between the Bulgarian and Albanian delegations.

The talks focused on regional partnership in Southeast Europe, as well as the European integration of the Western Balkans.

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Tags: Albanian, Bulgarian, Meta, Radev


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