Albania, Macedonia to strengthen cooperation

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-16 02:03:21|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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POGRADEC, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- The first joint meeting of Albanian and Macedonian governments was held Friday in Albania's southeastern city of Pogradec, marking the opening of a new chapter of cooperation between two countries.

Following the governmental meeting, Albanian and Macedonian Prime Ministers, Edi Rama and Zoran Zaev had a joint press conference where they both praised the event as crucial to the strengthening of bilateral relations.

Rama said that the first joint session of two governments would take the bilateral relations to a new level of a shared strategic orientation.

"As two neighboring countries, we have the obligation to offer more development and work for more prosperity for our citizens by improving the infrastructure interconnectivity," Rama told reporters.

Rama called for greater cooperation in the field of road and energy infrastructure, exchange of goods and services, border procedures, etc.

He further noted that the two governments had expressed commitment to carry out major development projects, including the construction of the Corridor 8 and the Elbasan-Pogradec railway.

The Premier also informed that the two governments would cooperation on the construction of new two-lane highway, Arbri Road, which will link Albanian capital, Tirana, with Dibra region on the Macedonian border.

Then, Rama affirmed Albania's support for Macedonia's NATO membership bid, saying that Macedonia's membership in NATO would be a strong investment in the region's peace and security.

On his part, Macedonian PM Zoran Zaev said that Macedonia and Albania share common challenges in their aspiration to open the accession negotiations with the European Union.

Macedonian PM hailed the first joint session of the governments of the two neighboring countries as a strong message to regional cooperation.

Zaev also expressed gratitude for Albania's strong support to Macedonia's aspirations to join NATO.

During first session, a series of important documents were signed, including the plan on periodic consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both countries, a memorandum of cooperation between the Ministries of Interior, and creation of the Bilateral Economic Council.

They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to boost cultural and scientific research cooperation through the Institute for the National, Cultural and Spiritual Heritage of the Albanians of Macedonia.