The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus, Dr Erato Kozakou- Marcoullis sent a strong message of encouragement to Albania’s political leadership to proceed swiftly with all necessary reforms that will bring Albania closer to the EU. During her visit to Albania on July 31, 2012, in her capacity as chair of the General Affairs Council of the European Union, responsible for enlargement, Dr. Marcoullis reiterated the EU’s commitment to the European perspective of Albania.
“We will indeed be delighted if, during the Cyprus Presidency, Albania achieves the fulfillment of the necessary requirements which will, in turn, facilitate a positive recommendation by the Commission and a Council decision in December for granting it candidate status”, stated the Foreign Affairs Minister yesterday.
Towards this end, Dr. Marcoullis encouraged Albania’s political leaders to proceed swiftly and timely to the achievement of progress on the 12 “key priorities”, stipulated in the Commission Opinion on Albania’s application for membership of the European Union of 2010, stressing that the pace of delivery on reforms relevant to these twelve priorities, is directly linked to the advancement of the European perspective of Albania.
Albania committed to its European perspective
The Foreign Affairs Minister’s visit in Tirana featured meetings with the President, Mr Bujar Nishani, the Prime Minister, Dr Sali Berisha and the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Jozefina Topalli. Dr Marcoullis also held meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Edmond Panariti, the Minister of Integration, Ms Majlinda Bregu and the Leader of the opposition, Mr Edi Rama.
During these meetings, Dr Marcoullis commended the political leadership of Albania on its commitment to moving forward with the necessary reforms, as evidenced by the recent breakthrough on electoral reform. She underlined that political stability and national consensus are essential for the achievement of further tangible progress and urged for the redoubling of efforts and determination of all stakeholders.
From their part, Dr Marcoullis’ interlocutors expressed appreciation for the Cyprus Presidency’s efforts and support of Albania’s EU course, emphasizing that the country is fully committed to its EU integration and to the adoption of the necessary steps for meeting that crucial objective.
The Foreign Minister concluded her contacts in Tirana with a meeting with the Head of the EU Delegation, Ambassador Ettore Sequi, who fully briefed her on the state of play regarding Albania´s course for European integration and in particular on efforts made, results achieved, but also remaining challenges and outstanding issues, which are important for the drafting of the Commission´s Progress Report.
Albania is the fourth country of the Western Balkans that Dr. Marcoullis is visiting, since the start of the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the EU, on July 1. Minister Marcoullis’ tour of the Western Balkans, which featured visits to Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, demonstrates the importance which the Cyprus Presidency attributes to the European perspective of the region.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
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