Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the SEECP takes place in Tirana

In the framework of the Albanian Chairmanship of the South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP), Minister Bushati chaired the informal meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of participating countries in this initiative.

The meeting was attended by representatives of 13 participating SEECP countries, as well as representatives of the European Union, Latvian Presidency of the EU, European Commission, Austria and the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), the latter as special guests for the Albanian Chairmanship.

This event was greeted by Mr. Edi Rama, Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania, who emphasized the constructive role of the Albanian Chairmanship in this initiative. The Prime Minister underlined the importance of this meeting in the regional integration processes, as well as in the European and Euro-Atlantic integration and conveyed messages of cooperation for the region.

The Foreign Ministers discussed recent developments, the political situation, the level of regional cooperation and good neighborly relations, as essential elements to the development of Eastern Europe.

At the initiative of the Albanian Chairmanship, during this meeting a Joint Declaration on Terrorism was approved, giving the message of unity and seriousness in tackling common challenges through joint actions.

Minister Bushati reiterated the priorities of our Chairmanship, such as strengthening of SEECP regional role, promoting and encouraging dialogue between participating countries and the consolidation of important sectors through this initiative orienting its aims towards tangible results for the public.

Minister Bushati introduced the activities undertaken so far under the Albanian Chairmanship and briefed his counterparts on the activities forecast during the first half of the year.

Ministers present at this meeting gave strong messages of support to the process EU and Euro-Atlantic integration. They stressed that EU integration has had a positive impact on consolidating and maintaining peace and stability in the region and in enhancing economic development. The integration process based on merit should not be stopped, despite "enlargement fatigue" and southeastern European countries should be encouraged in this regard.

Minister Bushati pointed out that the Albanian Chairmanship of the most important political forum in the region is a significant political and diplomatic commitment for Albania, to further promote and confirm the role of our country's policy in the region and beyond.

During our Chairmanship we will continue to develop a range of activities at expert level in Tirana, in cooperation with civil society and the academic world, and also, three ministerial meetings are due to take place in the fields of energy, agriculture and tourism, in accordance with the priorities of our Chairmanship.

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Statement of Minister Bushati at the joint press conference of the SEECP troika

Greetings everyone,

I am happy to be here together with my counterparts from Bulgaria and Romania as representatives of the troika of the participating countries to the South-East European Cooperation Process. As Chairman-in-Office of the SEECP I held fruitful discussions with representatives of participating countries to this important regional initiative of the countries of Southeast Europe.

Allow me to express my satisfaction with the level of participation and representation in this meeting, which is also due to the work carried out by the Romanian Chairmanship and the agreement reached during this Chairmanship. I am glad we had such a comprehensive representation of all the key actors of Southeast Europe. The Latvian EU Presidency, The European Commission and Austria – the country that will host the Conference in the framework the Berlin Process next August – were also present during this informal meeting. Apart from the challenges our region faces currently, we discussed common ways to face them and, for the first time in the history of SEECP Foreign Ministers Meetings, we adopted a Joint Declaration on Terrorism, which was drafted in the same spirit as EU’s clear stance in this regard, taking into account that the challenges our region faces today – terrorism and the so called foreign fighters – also challenge the EU and the European security architecture.

Given that some of the SEECP participating countries are members of the EU while some others aspire to join it, we had the opportunity to exchange views regarding the advancement of reforms in our countries and to get acquainted with projects that the EU is drafting in order to assure better interconnectivity, with a view of transforming Southeast Europe in a true region when it comes to infrastructural corridors and drafting of an economic plan to face challenges brought by the EU accession process.  Considerable focus was given to the role of our region with regards to the challenges Europe is facing in the East and in particular to the contribution of non EU countries, who are committed to align their foreign policy stances with those of the EU. We also talked about the importance of synchronizing our stances with regards to the developments in the Middle East and all the challenges brought by the situation in that part of the world, mainly concerning terrorism and foreign fighters.

This meeting was a great opportunity for all of us to discuss and find a common ground on issues that are important to our continent.

Thank you.

SEECP_-_Joint_Statement_on_Terrorism.pdf

 

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