The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, on official visit to the Republic of Albania

Tirana, 4. 3. 2019 | press release

At the invitation of the President of the Republic of Albania, Ilir Meta, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, is paying an official visit to the Republic of Albania.

The purpose of the visit is to further strengthen good political relations and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries. The official visit is also an opportunity to get acquainted with the political situation in Albania and their expectations about progress in the negotiation process with the European Union.

After a formal reception with military honours, the two Presidents had a one-on-one meeting, followed by plenary talks between the delegations of the Republic of Slovenian and the Republic of Albania, led by their respective Presidents.

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, on official visit to the Republic of Albania
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA

President Pahor and President Meta agreed that political cooperation between the two countries was good and that relations were friendly and without any outstanding issues. They confirmed the interests of both countries to further strengthen cooperation at the political and professional levels in the future.

President Meta acquainted President Pahor with Albania’s progress in meeting key priorities for opening accession negotiations with the EU, particularly with regard to the implementation of reforms. He expressed the expectation that Albania would get the green light in June to start accession negotiations with the EU. President Pahor said that Slovenia would continue to support Albania in their EU integration processes and made assurance of Slovenia's continued assistance and support in further reform processes necessary for opening accession negotiations for membership of Albania in the European Union. According to President Pahor the European Union’s expansion to the countries in the Western Balkan region is based on geopolitical rather than technical considerations.

The two Presidents exchanged views on topical regional issues and discussed preparations for the Brdo–Brijuni process leaders’ meeting to be hosted by Albania on 8 and 9 May this year. They asserted that the aforementioned regional initiative prompted many positive developments in addressing outstanding regional issues.

President Pahor highlighted good cooperation between the two countries in many areas and expressed his belief that there were ample opportunities for further cooperation, in particular in the field of economic cooperation, which has not been especially strong to date. In 2017, trade volume between the two countries amounted to EUR 53.1 and ranked Albania the 58th among Slovenia's trading partners. In the first nine months of 2018, the volume of trade between Slovenia and Albania amounted to EUR 34.3 million, which is a decrease of 14.1 per cent as compared to the same period of 2017.

The two countries are also linked through development cooperation: in the period from 2010 to 2016, Albania received EUR 2 million worth of assistance from Slovenia, with the bulk of the funds earmarked for advancing the efforts towards Albania's membership in the European Union.

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, will meet the Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania, Edi Rama; during his official visit, President Pahor will also encounter the leader of the opposition (Democratic Party), Lulzim Basha.

The first day of the official visit will close with a gala dinner hosted by President Meta in honour of President Pahor.

Tomorrow, President Pahor will lay a wreath at the tomb of national heroes and meet the Mayor of Tirana, who will present him with the honorary key to the city.

President Pahor will also meet the Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Albania, Gramoz Ruçi. President Pahor will conclude his official visit in Kruja, the birthplace of Albania's national hero Skanderbeg.

The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, on official visit to the Republic of Albania
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA