Minister of Foreign Affairs Sven Mikser (SDE) met with his Albanian counterpart Ditmir Bushati in Tallinn on Wednesday to discuss EU enlargement, the security situation and bilateral relations between Estonia and Albania.
"Estonia continues to support the EU enlargement process as based on EU values and strict conditionality," Mikser said at the meeting according to a ministry press release. "The trustworthy and credible implementation of the EU enlargement policy in the Western Balkan countries will improve stability and security as well as the development of democracy and the rule of law in Europe as a whole. Albania has made significant progress with reforms in recent years, and the commitment of Albania's government deserves to be recognized."
The Estonian minister added that Estonia supports Albania's efforts to launch negotiations for membership of the EU this year if the European Commission recommends the opening of negotiations as suggested in the Commission's strategy for the Western Balkans published on Tuesday.
The two foreign ministers also discussed the security situation and the upcoming NATO Summit. "The alliance must be relevant for all allies, and one of the discussion points at the upcoming summit will be the open-door policy that Estonia supports," Mikser noted. "The summit must focus on strengthening the alliance as the preservation of stability is a priority for all of us."
On the subject of bilateral Estonian-Albanian cooperation, the role of the e-Governance Academy in sharing Estonia's expertise in Albania as well as a memorandum of understanding between the Estonian School of Diplomacy and the Albanian Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs were emphasized.
The Estonian minister acknowledged that relations between the two countries are good, but that, nevertheless, many more opportunities for cooperation exist. It is hoped that the planned visit of an Estonian business delegation to Albania will improve business contacts between the two countries.
Mikser also introduced to his colleague the priorities of Estonia's campaign for non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021.
Editor: Aili Vahtla