“We have many issues on the table. We in the EU want to organize intergovernmental conferences with Serbia and Montenegro, so that they can start negotiations. We also want the first intergovernmental conferences for Albania and North Macedonia to take place. So, this month, this year, can really be the month or the year of the Western Balkans, “said EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi in a joint press conference with Albania PM Edi Rama at the end of the Summit of the Western Balkans countries on Thursday.
Tirana was the host capital of the turn of such summits which are organized annually being attended by the highest government leaders of the six Balkan countries.
Earlier the PM, Rama and Commissioner Várhelyi had a tete-a-tete meeting before the start of the Summit. It is not clear if the question of the dismissal of President Ilir Meta by Parliament on Wednesday was discussed as the move was initiated at the initiative of Rama having the support of the majority and the parliamentary opposition. Some 104 deputies voted to fire the head of state.
Asked if the stalemate between Bulgaria and North Macedonia would penalize Albania again, Commissioner Varhelyi said the EU was working hard to resolve the conflict, adding that June would be the month of decisions.
On his part, Prime Minister Rama stated that Albania has done its integration tasks and there is no more controversy from the EU and member states. “At the moment we have no concern or reason to say that we are sacrificing,” said Rama.
“There is a stalemate between North Macedonia and Bulgaria, and the way the enlargement system works requires that this stalemate be resolved before the process can continue. At the moment we have no concern or reason to say that we are sacrificing, because we are here with the EU and we are continuing to work to improve the life and future of Albanians, not only from the point of view of the whole new legislative architecture, but also from the point of view of infrastructure and all other elements of the economy. We have seen how long another story lasted between North Macedonia and its southern neighbors,” said Rama, who did not mention Greece’s veto on NATO membership in North Macedonia which prolonged the process of that Balkan country for many years until the question of the name of that country was resolved. / argumentum.al
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