The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Olta Xhaçka, hosted a meeting with her counterparts, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria, Alexander Schallenberg; The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Jakub Kulhanek, and that of Slovenia, Anze Logar.
Minister Xhaçka stated that the visit of her counterparts in Tirana is an indicator of their support and that of the countries they represent towards Albania's membership in the EU. According to Xhacckws, Albania has met all the conditions and is ready to hold the First Intergovernmental Conference within the first 6 months of this year. Albania has come a long and difficult way to meet the conditions and requirements by exceeding not a little challenges. Although the last year has been extremely difficult, we have managed to make substantial progress in reforming the justice system, in the fight against organized crime and corruption, in expanding the perspective and legal framework of fundamental human rights, and we have finally managed to develop a transparent electoral process, to bring Albania closer to its ultimate goal, EU membership. With the clear recognition that the European Commission has made of these achievements, and with the support of our friends and partner countries such as Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovenia, we have high expectations that the Council will agree to adopt the negotiating framework and hold the first Intergovernmental Conference with Albania within the first half of the year ", said the Minister during the press conference.
On the other hand, the three EU ministers assessed that Albania has done everything expected of it and that it is the EU's turn to take its step.The Austrian Foreign Minister underlined that Albania is ready to open negotiations in June and there is no reason for delays.
"Albania has come a long way, has undertaken many reforms, has done its homework and is ready to open negotiations in June. There is no reason to delay this process," said the Austrian minister. The Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, Jakub Kulhanek, praised all the achievements that Albania has made so far and especially in two areas: justice reform and the fight against corruption and organized crime.
"It is quite significant that three EU Foreign Ministers have come to Albania to show their support for Albania's path towards the EU. I take this opportunity to appreciate all the achievements that Albania has made so far, especially in two areas: justice reform and the fight against corruption and organized crime," said the Czech minister.
Slovenia's Foreign Minister Anze Logar further said that the next presidency is that of Slovenia where enlargement and the BP issue will be at the top of the agenda.
"Albania fulfilled its task, now it is the EU that must stand by its words, it is the right time. The next presidency is that of Slovenia where EU enlargement issue will be at the top of the agenda, so Albania will have an active interlocutor. Very active interlocutor and supporter of the enlargement process," said the Slovenian minister.