Greece-FYROM agreement “courageous” and will benefit whole Balkan region, says Edi Rama

Greece and Albania will conclude their agreement “with a new document of strategic partnership,” Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama told the Athens-Macedonia News Agency (ANA) on the sidelines of the EU-Western Balkans Summit concluding in London on Tuesday.

“As you know, we are also facing difficult but absolutely necessary process of solving issues among us, Albania and Greece,” Rama told ANA. “The most important thing is that we use these problems to not only to solve them but also to transform the solution into a new level of partnership and cooperation.” The two countries have had relations for seventy years, he noted, “which have been characterized by more and more natural bonds between the people.”

The Albanian premier added, “It is very natural, and somehow through the solution we will reach the level of normal people, of average citizens who have already overcome the past and have embraced each other.”

Rama welcomed the agreement between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on the name issue, saying that “this is a good moment to somehow praise certain results, first and foremost the great achievement of Greece and Northern Macedonia, thanks to very courageous and brave, and also visionary leadership of (Prime Ministers) Alexis (Tsipras) and Zoran (Zaev), who also took their own share of risk to confirm something that was not easy; but they showed that where there is a will, there is a way.”

Commenting on reactions against the agreement in both countries, Rama noted, “Of course they (Tsipras and Zaev) are confronted with reactions, but at the same time the reactions are showing that this has been a quite bold decision that will be of benefit to both Greece and Northern Macedonia, and the Balkans overall.”

In terms of the EU-Western Balkans Summit and the Berlin Process, Prime Minister Rama said the following: “This is an important process that has been launched five years ago and it is going on, at a good pace, I believe. It helps a lot to keep all of us together and to make us move together. Of course, it is happening at a period of time when things in Europe are not so good, so it looks like a Balkan curse. Once upon a time, when Europe was getting better, we were getting worse, now we are getting better, Europe is getting worse.”

Source ANA-MPA
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