Monday, October 14, 2013

Venizelos meets with Albanian Prime Minister Rama, FM Bushati

Last update: 20:18

ANA-MPA – Vice government president and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos met in Tirana on Monday with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati in the context of his one-day official visit to Albania.

In the meeting with the Albanian prime minister, Venizelos noted that the Greek government wants bilateral relations to reach a new level of cooperation.

On his part, Rama said that his government wants to give a new dimension to cooperation with Greece in a spirit of friendship. He said that the Albanian government is determined to boost regional cooperation and thanked Venizelos for the support offered to Albania's EU accession course.

The close bilateral cooperation for a solution of outstanding issues in relations between Greece and Albania dominated talks that Venizelos had earlier with Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati.

In a joint press conference, Venizelos referred to the issue of the revocation of “the state of war” which was raised by Bushati, and noted that the Greek cabinet declared a state of peace with Albania in 1987. He also underlined that since 1986, the option of seeking recourse to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is open for anyone wishing to do so. “Therefore, we have a very secure cooperation framework based on bilateral and multilateral treaties,” Venizelos underlined.

He expressed the readiness of the Greek side to offer assistance to Tirana's EU accession efforts, together with Italy, which takes over the rotating EU Presidency after Greece.

Responding to an ANA-MPA question on delineating maritime borders, Venizelos said that “the common basis of the 'Mediterranean Year', as a result of the successive EU presidencies of Greece and Italy, is a comprehensive maritime policy focusing on the Mediterranean region. I repeat that an important study has been given to publicity by the European Commission, which proves that the implementation of the international maritime law and the delineation of maritime borders will have major economic benefits for the EU and Mediterranean countries”.

The two ministers also referred to the importance of the TransAdriatic Pipeline (TAP) for the economies of Greece and Albania, noting that it is a project of major importance for energy security and regional economic stability.

On his part, the Albanian foreign minister said that they discussed “all the issues that bring us together and those that divide us; we exchanged opinions for the creation of an appropriate climate of confidence that would enhance and further deepen our bilateral cooperation, as well as cooperation on a regional and European level”.

Responding to a question on whether he raised the so-called "Cham issue" during the talks with Venizelos, the Albanian foreign minister said that “the Cham issue is in the diplomatic file with Greece,” noting that “now is the time to look at reality and overcome the historical obstacles because we wish to enrich bilateral and multilateral cooperation instead of remaining hostages of nationalism”.

 (Photo: Evangelos Venizelos is (L) is welcomed by Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati)

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epa03909404 Greek Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos (L) is welcomed by Albanian Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati, during his one-day official visit in Tirana, Albania, 14 October 2013.  EPA/ARMANDO BABANI

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