German president hails Albania’s pro-European stand

Nov 30, 2022, 2:27 PM | Updated: Dec 1, 2022, 4:34 am

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, left, speaks next to his Albanian counterpart Bajram Bega...

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, left, speaks next to his Albanian counterpart Bajram Begaj during a join news conference and after their meeting in Tirana, Albania, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022. Steinmeier is on a two-day official visit to Albania. (AP Photo/Franc Zhurda)

(AP Photo/Franc Zhurda)

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The German president on Thursday hailed Albania’s pro-European stand and urged its authorities to continue reforms toward membership into the European Union.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier is visiting Albania to talk with its top officials on EU membership negotiations and the situation in the Western Balkan region.

“Please keep on further work in the fight against all obstacles, in coping with corruption and organized crime, keep on justice reform, and the opposition and government should work beyond political battles toward the joint destination of EU membership,” Steinmeier said in his speech to the parliament, adding that, “It’s worth it.”

Albania and neighboring North Macedonia, which Steinmeier visited earlier this week, started membership talks with the EU in July, in a process expected to last years.

Regional cooperation was the best path toward faster integration into the bloc, Steinmeier said.

Last month at a meeting in Berlin the six Western Balkan countries — Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Albania — signed agreements on easing regional travel arrangements and mutual recognition of academic qualifications as part of what is known as “the Berlin process,” an initiative from Germany and France to encourage the Balkan countries in their path toward membership into the bloc.

“Please be insistent and continue such a path until it successfully concludes with EU membership,” said Steinmeier. “Your heart beats for Europe. You live in a European way and we shall assist you in crossing the obstacles in this road toward the EU.”

Germany has been a main supporter of post-communist Albania. It is the country’s fourth largest trade partner. Some 70,000 Albanians live in Germany.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Image: Members of the Makah Indian tribe paddle away from the rising sun as they head from Neah Bay...

Associated Press

Washington’s Makah Tribe clears major hurdle toward resuming traditional whale hunts

The U.S. granted the Makah Indian Tribe a long-sought waiver that helps clear the way for its first sanctioned whale hunts since 1999.

13 hours ago

jerry west...

Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

Jerry West, a 3-time Hall of Fame selection and the NBA logo, dies at 86

Jerry West, a three-time Basketball Hall of Fame inductee whose silhouette is considered to be the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

2 days ago

Photo: Construction vehicles are parked outside of the Station U & O building on Tuesday, June 11, ...

Haleluya Hadero, The Associated Press

Amazon adds $1.4B to affordable housing fund for regions where it has corporate offices

Amazon is adding $1.4B to a fund for building more affordable housing in regions where the company has major corporate offices.

2 days ago

hunter biden...

Randall Chase and the Associated Press

Hunter Biden convicted of all 3 felony charges in federal gun trial

Hunter Biden has been convicted of all three felony charges related to the purchase of a revolver in 2018, but no sentencing date was set.

3 days ago

Photo: A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real e...

Associated Press

Bremerton man sentenced for 20 ‘swatting’ calls of false threats in US, Canada

A Bremerton man who made 20 "swatting" calls around the U.S. and in Canada, prompting real emergency responses, has been sentenced.

3 days ago

Image: U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, left, speaks with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zele...

Associated Press

Ukraine uses US weapons to strike inside Russia, a Western official tells AP

Ukraine has used U.S weapons to strike inside Russia in recent days, according to a Western official familiar with the matter told the AP.

9 days ago

German president hails Albania’s pro-European stand