Bushati: Albania is interested in strategic relations with Greece

Ditmir Bushati; Photo: European Union

TIRANA – Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania Ditmir Bushati told an interview with Voice of America’s Albanian section on Thursday that Albania wants to establish a long-term strategic relation with neighbouring Greece.

Minister for European and Foreign Affairs, who is in New York as part of the Albanian delegation attending the 72nd session of the General Assembly, said he did not think it was in Greece’s interest and intentions to impose conditions on Albania’s European perspective.

“I do not think it is in Greece’s interest and intentions to impose conditions on Albania’s European perspective. As it was clearly stated in the new government’s program presented by the Prime Minister, we are interested in establishing correct relations with Greece so that both sides find fair solutions,” Albania’s diplomacy chief told Voice of America.

During the interview, Bushati also spoke about steps Albania needs to take in order to convince the European Union to launch the accession talks by next June.

“Our intention is to make further steps on this direction that would allow the EU to make a final decision on opening accession negotiations. The judiciary reform is crucial to this process and we are working on it,” he said.

Bushati also commented on the pending issues with Greece and whether the neighbouring country would block the country’s European integration, following earlier statements from Athens warning that Greece would vote against Albania’s EU membership.

“Over the past four years, the so-called small steps policy has yielded some concrete steps forwards. On the maritime agreement, we have exchanged views and all issues have been on the table of talks. We have agreed to discuss these issues at an expert-level and will then be forwarded to the prime ministers of both countries. We will move forward the relations between the two countries in an European spirit. Greece is also interested in becoming involved in this process,” Bushati stated.