PRESS RELEASE BY THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT: “Malta looks forward to more cooperation with Albania”

President of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, welcomed President of the Republic of Albania Ilir Meta, at The Palace in Valletta. President Meta is currently in Malta on a historic state visit, being held on the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malta and Albania.

Addressing a joint press conference with President Meta, President Coleiro Preca stated that Malta wishes to continue building on the excellent bilateral relations with Albania, while also finding further opportunities to intensify the political, economic, cultural and social relations between Malta and Albania, whilst also mentioning the ongoing contribution of a number of Maltese civil society activists in Albania, such as SOS Malta, the Dominican Friars, Caritas and members of the MUSEUM Community.

I am convinced that, their input has left a positive mark on the social development of Albania, the President said.

It is essential for us to continue developing deep-rooted and mutually beneficial collaborations and partnerships, to ensure shared prosperity for our young people, and our nations.

President Coleiro Preca and President Meta discussed various business sectors, including the areas of financial services, digital gaming, healthcare, education and training, transhipment and logistics, tourism and hospitality, and the teaching of English as a foreign language.

Both Presidents also discussed Albania’s potential accession to the European Union. President Coleiro Preca expressed her satisfaction for the progress that Albania is making, in conforming with the regulations of the European Union, and hence to move closer to membership within our European Family of nations, whilst reiterating Malta’s support for Albania’s accession to the European Union, and our offer for technical assistance.

The President of Malta said that Malta is convinced that there is so much more we can achieve, even on a bilateral level, when we are united through the European Union, in pursuit of common aspirations for socio-economic development among the diverse peoples of Europe.

Malta and Albania as two complementary hubs in their respective regions.

President Coleiro Preca said that Malta’s position of geo-political importance in the Euro-Mediterranean region parallels the opportunities presented by Albania, within the Mediterranean-Balkan region.

She emphasized that the enthusiasm shown by both countries, to continue to find opportunities, to form new and powerful synergies between our authorities, our respective business communities, cultural sectors and civil society, must continue to gain momentum. She proposed a visit by an Albanian Trade Delegation to meet their Maltese counterparts, as a follow-up to the Malta-Albania Business Forum organized during President Coleiro Preca’s State Visit to Albania in 2016, during which the President also led a trade delegation.

The President of Malta also spoke about a cultural agreement, which Malta and Albania signed in 1992, and said that it can be revisited for stronger cultural collaboration, at this time when Valletta’s term as European Capital of Culture for 2018, provides us with an ideal opportunity to showcase our respective cultures.

She said that this is a time where an excellent opportunity arises to further develop connections and friendships between our peoples.

There must be closer collaboration among the international community, in order to ensure that prosperity, peace and wellbeing are enjoyed by each and every citizen in our countries, free from threats of violence.

Both Presidents also spoke about the phenomenon of migration, and discussed the need for a united international effort, to address migration at its source, in respectful and dignified ways, in the context of the upcoming global compacts.

President Coleiro Preca and President Meta also touched upon the need to take a multilateral approach to fight terrorism and radicalisation.

It is only by addressing the root causes of these scourges that we shall be able to achieve long-lasting and positive peace for our world. In this context, I would like to commend Albania for adopting a national strategy in 2015, to counter terrorism and violent extremism, the President said.

Let us continue to enhance security and prosperity across our regions, as one united family, embracing and celebrating the diversity of all peoples within Europe.

In conclusion, The President of Malta expressed her belief that, we must be united by our commitment to universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, and a profound respect for the rule of law, and intrinsic human dignity, adding that it is these values which define Malta and Albania, as nations of good will, and it is thanks to these deep roots that the friendship between Malta and Albania, and their peoples will keep growing stronger in the future.

Source: Government of Malta