05/01/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/02/2021 08:13
'As in North Macedonia, I have expressed to our partners our clear support for the early start of their accession talks with the European Union (EU). Both these countries, which are also our close allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), have already met all the requirements for officially embarking on the path to the EU. The engagement of Slovak diplomacy as a long-term supporter of the European integration of the Western Balkans will therefore continue. We wish to contribute constructively to the discussion in order to achieve a positive result.'
This was stated by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Martin Klus, during his two-day working visit to the Republic of Albania, which took place on 30 April and 1 May 2021. With his ministerial partner, the State Secretary of the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania, Agron Tarem, Klus discussed Slovak-Albanian bilateral relations, the current development of the pandemic situation, and especially the integration of the Republic of Albania into the EU and the enlargement policy. They agreed that economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has a growth potential which is undoubtedly linked to Albania's progress on the path to the Union.
'I came to Albania with a very similar message as the one that I passed on to my partner in North Macedonia in the recent days: your future is in the European Union, and the project of a united Europe will never be complete without the Western Balkans region. Albania has met all the conditions for the start of the procedure of accession negotiations, and it is high time to hold the first EU intergovernmental conference with this country,' said Martin Klus, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. After the meeting, he took part in the courtesy reception by the Albanian Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Olta Xhaçka
At a meeting with Albania's chief negotiator for accession negotiations with the EU, Zef Mazi, the partners followed up on a joint videoconference held in January 2021. Martin Klus was particularly interested in the progress that Albania has made in the area of reforms in the recent period and at the same time offered the opportunity to intensify mutual cooperation in order to transfer the experience of the Slovak government and diplomacy concerning the EU accession process.
The State Secretary of the Slovak foreign ministry also discussed the main topics of his working trip and also the possibilities of the further development of interparliamentary cooperation with the Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mimi Kodheli, and the Chair of the Parliamentary Committee for European Integration, Rudina Hajdari.
'As a former member of parliament and vice-president of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, I am well aware of the benefits of interparliamentary cooperation between states, and so I hope that after constituting your parliament in a new, post-election composition, we will be able to welcome a delegation of your deputies,' stated Martin Klus.
Klus also added that his working trip to Tirana, like the recent visit of the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Ivan Korčok, to Albania, is a clear proof of the Slovak-Albanian friendship and mutual readiness to deepen ties.