Bushati held a meeting with his Austrian counterpart, Sebastian Kurz

Foreign Minister Bushati held a meeting with the Federal Minister for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Austria, Sebastian Kurz. This visit comes at a special moment for the two countries, which a few days ago celebrated their 60th anniversary of re-establishment of bilateral relations and denotes the excellent relations between Albania and Austria. The process of European integration, further strengthening of bilateral cooperation, coordination of joint efforts in addressing current challenges faced by the European Union such as migration and security crisis in the continent, were among the main issues discussed at the meeting. Minister Kurz highlighted the special attention that Austria pays to the Western Balkans, reaffirming the region’s close approach to the European Union and Austria's commitment in this regard.

On his part, Minister Bushati noted the progress made by the Albanian government to address the 5 key priorities, with special focus on the justice reform. He praised the contribution of the Austrian government in encouraging the reform process in Albania. Austria's continued support is clearly reflected in the Development Strategy 2015-2020, where assistance for the strengthening of public administration, rule of law and vocational education are just some of the main directions of bilateral cooperation. Moreover, parties also discussed the intensification of cooperation in priority areas such as tourism, energy, education, mining industry etc.

Minister Bushati appreciated the position of Austria as one of the member states to support the enlargement, stating that "this year we are implementing a joint action plan between the two countries, which includes a series of commitments and concrete activities in support of the country’s advancement towards the integration path, with a view to opening accession negotiations. This plan covers areas such as the European integration, economy, development programs, public administration, education, science and civil society. "

Moreover, Ministers Bushati and Kurz attended a conference on the resolution of bilateral disputes in the Western Balkan countries, organized in Vienna by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, in cooperation with the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The conference was held in the framework of the Berlin Process and preparations for the upcoming Summit to be held in Paris, in July 2016.

This conference dwelt on the commitments undertaken by governments of regional countries and the statement on bilateral issues signed by Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Western Balkans at the Vienna Summit in August 2015. Special attention was also paid to the creation of instruments for settling bilateral disputes and establishing a framework for measuring progress.

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