Shkodra, Albania – July 3rd (Tirana Echo) – Albania and Montenegro have held their first ever joint-session of respective government in the strategic Albanian city of Shkodra, praising political ties and kick-starting a more intensive economic cooperation between the two Balkan neighbors.
Speaking at the start of the high level session, Albanian prime minister Edi Rama said that both countries are interconnected like never before, while this close relationship offers huge untapped potentials to be explored.
“It is time to address these potential and make the best out of the exchange of ideas and experiences and join our forces, starting not only with the opening of new border crossing points, which marks an important success ahead of this meeting, but also a broader basis to implement the cross-border development plans and continuing to highlight and exploit the great economic and tourist values that carries the whole area we share.” – Rama said.
Albania and Montenegro have agreed to improve infrastructure links and further facilitate the movement of people and goods. There is already a common border check point at the Murriqan-Sukobin border crossing and it has set an example for other countries in the region.
The two prime ministers also signed a series of inter-governmental agreements on trans-boundary water management, on mutual assistance in emergency situations, on cross-border operations for airspace patrolling, on cultural cooperation as well as agreed on the opening of a border crossing for road and waterway traffic on Lake Shkodra. The agreements are expected to boost the already excellent ties between Albania and Montenegro.
Commenting after the signing of agreements, Montenegrin prime minister Duško Marković said:
“today we signed a series of important agreements. I am not going to point out each of them, but I would like to say that these agreements include the concrete steps to advance our relations and turn our potentials to the benefit of the citizens of Albania and Montenegro. These are agreements between the line ministries and government bodies which we will analyze and take stock of their results during the next year’s joint session in Podgorica.“
Albania and Montenegro are both members of NATO and both hope to join the European Union in the near future. The excellent relations between the two neighborly countries are praised by the EU and the USA as a bright example for the entire Western Balkans, which has historically suffered from bitter ethnic feuds and constant conflict.
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