Today (17 June), Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle met Ilir Meta, his Albanian opposite number, for bilateral talks at the Federal Foreign Office.
Minister Meta paid tribute to the excellent relations between the two countries. Germany, he said, was not only a close political partner for Albania but above all one of the major donors of bilateral aid. Albania was very keen to enhance its economic ties to Germany, given its excellent investment opportunities. Due to the high degree of regional networking, he continued, this applied in particular to energy.
With a view to its European prospects, Albania sought to increase cooperation with Germany in particular on the area of justice and home affairs. The country was aware, he went on, of the need to show initiative and be successful if it wanted public support.
Westerwelle underlined the EU’s concerns that the blockade of Albania’s parliament had gone on for nearly a year now. He called on the government and opposition to quickly find a lasting solution. It was imperative for Albania’s European prospects and for the continuation of its reforms that the country’s parliament returned to full political operability.
Westerwelle pointed out that increased commitment by German business in Albania first and foremost depended on legal security and confidence in the country’s political stability. As far as energy was concerned, he went on, cooperation with small and medium-sized German firms represented a major opportunity.
To improve their economic and trade relations, the two delegations signed a maritime transport agreement aimed at legally guaranteeing equal treatment in the long term for German vessels in Albanian ports. The agreement thus makes an important contribution to promoting foreign trade.