TIRANA, 28 September 2012 – Genuine dialogue involving all actors is essential for progress on Albania’s reform agenda, said Lucinda Creighton, Irish Minister for European Affairs representing the OSCE Chair-in-Office, during her official visit to Albania today.
Following her meetings with the Prime Minister Sali Berisha and Integration Minister Majlinda Bregu, Creighton said: “Genuine dialogue with serious and constructive engagement by all major political parties is paramount to advancing Albania’s own reform agenda and thus in supporting its European aspirations.”
“This is particularly important in the run-up to 2013 parliamentary elections,” she underlined. “It is essential for all political sides to demonstrate the political will to hold free and fair elections, including full implementation of the revised Electoral Code,” she said.
"Ireland fully supports EU membership for all the countries of the Western Balkans, including Albania, as a route to peace and stability for the region. As incoming Presidency of the European Council we look forward to the European Commission recommendations regarding Albania's progress towards candidate status," she said.
Creighton welcomed Albania’s active participation in the work of the OSCE, including through co-operation with the field operation on the ground. She praised progress in implementing key reforms, and reiterated the OSCE’s readiness to continue supporting Albania in addressing outstanding issues including those related to judicial reform, the fight against corruption and the strengthening of the rule of law.
The visit to Tirana concludes the Minister’s four-day official trip to the region, during which she also visited Belgrade, Pristina, Skopje and Ljubljana.