Prime Minister Edi Rama welcomed today the Prime Minister of Poland Beata Szydlo, who is on an official visit to Tirana. The two prime ministers held a meeting in the spirit of friendship and excellent relations that exist between the two countries, and shared the common will to deepen economic cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
The meeting between the two Prime Ministers was followed by talks between the two delegations, and the signing ceremony of an agreement on cultural cooperation between the two countries. At the conclusion of the meeting in the prime ministry, Prime Ministers Rama and Szydlo communicated in a joint press release the talks between the parties:
Prime Minister Edi Rama:
It is a great pleasure for me that we welcome today the Prime Minister of Poland. I want to thank you for this visit which is a meaningful expression of the excellent relations that exist between Albania and Poland. I want to emphasize first of all the fact that Poland has been and remains a firm supporter of the process to approach Albania to the European Union, and of the full integration of our country into the European family.
It is fact that there is a continuous increase of the presence of Polish tourists in Albania, and this is a significant potential which we discussed in order to attract more investments from Poland to our country.
On the other hand, we signed a new cooperation agreement in the field of culture, stating that both in this area and in the field of education, cooperation has a special weight and its further enhancement is of mutual interest.
We also discussed the situation in the region, the progress made to promote further regional cooperation in an entirely new context which was created thanks to the launch of the Berlin Process. But we are definitely aware, and we shared this awareness of the need to strengthen this cooperation in the context of the overall advancement of the countries in the region, and of Albania’s of course, with an increased speed in the EU integration process.
I thanked the Prime Minister, and I want to thank her also publicly for the fact that within the Visegrad Group, Poland is a country that has asked loudly for this process to be sped up for Albania. Together we shared the opinion on the very positive Progress Report of the European Commission, and the necessity for the European Council to speak clearly in the coming days about the further continuation of the process, taking into consideration the necessity that at a time when the European Commission has made a positive recommendation for the opening of negotiations, this recommendation is accepted by the Council and Albania is given an opportunity in the coming months to provide tangible evidence of the commencement of the implementation of the Justice Reform and start, where the Commission underlines, the implementation of the law of Vetting of prosecutors and judges as the only condition for the Commission to return to the Council through an interim report that would open negotiations for Albania.
Of course, in the meantime, Albania has been and remains aware that it needs to continue to make progress in the five areas defined as 5 key priorities of the European Union.
I want to thank once again the Prime Minister for this visit.
I am very glad that she could see in this short flight from Warsaw to Tirana that the distance is too short, whereas, within this short distance, opportunities to strengthen our cooperation relations are great.
Just as I am glad also for the fact that the Prime Minister could see that it can take two and a half hours to go from the snow in the sun, form an important country of the European Union, in a country that is at the heart of Europe and deserves to be part the European Union.
Prime Minister Beata Szydlo:
Thank you very much Mr Prime Minister!
Ladies and gentleman!
First I would like to thank the Prime Minister for such a warm reception, for his invitation and for the pleasant conversation that we had.
As stated by the Prime Minister, we are here with the Polish delegation in order to deepen our bilateral relations. Poland and Albania are two countries connected by history, united by the fact that many Albanians have studied in Poland and also because the mother of the Prime Minister studied in Poland. So, these are relations of very specific, very tangible aspects to which we can pay our attention and cooperation.
I'm also very happy that this is the first time a Polish prime minister has visited Albania since 2004. It's been a long time, but I am very happy that I was able to pay this visit and to start this cooperation at a deeper level.
I am accompanied in this visit also by Polish business representatives because we have very high expectations when it comes to deepening our economic cooperation. We hope that the agreements signed in different sectors and between different chambers of commerce will be translated more quickly into concrete and specific actions in the economic development of both countries.
Mr Prime Minister mentioned that we have a good potential to cooperate in the tourism sector. This is true. An increased number of Polish tourists choose Albania as a destination for their summer holidays. So, there are a number of different areas which we can discuss.
In addition, we signed today an agreement between the ministries of culture. It is a very important agreement, since it will be implemented through various cultural enterprises in cooperation between Albania and Poland.
Poland supports Albania's aspirations to join the European Union, and I want to congratulate Albania on the reforms implemented so far. I believe that the European Commission has assessed the changes made by the government of Albania, and the positive decision it has taken is quite satisfactory for us.
I also hope and rely on the European Council that it will confirm the European Commission’s assessment and speed up the process.
Negotiations must begin.
We appreciate the high level of Albania’s foreign policy coherence with the common security and foreign policy of the European Union, and this is one of the factors that should accelerate the accession process.
Poland has always supported and will continue to support Albania in its aspirations to join the European Union. We perceive this primarily as a very important element from the standpoint of security and stability in Europe and in this region.
As far as we are concerned, we also declare our willingness to support Albania. We are willing to share in this process our experiences from the pre-accession period. We also had to make changes, undertake the necessary reforms which enabled us to become members of the European Union.
I would also like to say that today's meetings aimed at deepening cooperation. We talk about economic and cultural cooperation, but we emphasized also security. Albania is a very important partner for Poland in NATO. We appreciate that Albania ensures stability and security in the Western Balkans.
Prime Minister, I would like to thank you again very much for giving me the opportunity to meet you here. I hope that we will be able soon to keep up this very good cooperation.