TIRANA, Oct. 16 – Visiting Tirana officially for the first time, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte promised that he would personally engage in supporting the opening of EU membership talks with Albania.
“Italy supports the opening of talks and personally, on Thursday and Friday, I will support this position at the Council and will defend it with great conviction,” he said during a joint news conference with Prime Minister Edi Rama.
“I am convinced that the integration process and the opening of negotiations for Albania are the best instruments to guarantee the development of Albania in the interest of not only Italy and Albania, but also of all Europe in all aspects, both economically, politically and in terms of security. And this also applies to Northern Macedonia,” he said.
“Albania is at a crucial stage and needs costly reforms that require commitment and courage. The people have been in favor of joining the European Union, so the institutions must continue on the path taken to avoid disappointment in this aspiration. But it is understandable,” he added, “that in order not to be disappointment, there must be a clear path and a prospect that becomes concrete.”
Conte stated that “the priority remains the continuation of reforms, starting with the full implementation of the justice reform, which has marked significant steps, and continuing with the restoration of the courts, as well as giving life to new institutions to fight crime and corruption more effectively.
Conte also spoke about the political crisis in Albania.
“Our attention and Europe’s focus is also on Albania’s ability to resolve the crisis,” which would be “a sign of political and institutional maturity.”
“I believe that the majority and the opposition have an interest in achieving this by their own means. I wish that the government will soon put forward a platform for the opposition to resume dialogue constructively and urge the opposition-selected line to evolve towards a constructive dialogue without preconditions,” Conte said.