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Minister Creighton encourages Albania to continue reform agenda on path to EU candidacy

European Union, Press Releases, Europe, 2012

TIRANA, 28 September 2012 – Minister Lucinda Creighton T.D. visited Albania today on the final day of her visit to the Western Balkan region. As the first Irish Minister to visit Albania, and ahead of Ireland's EU Presidency, she said genuine dialogue involving all actors is essential for progress on Albania's reform agenda. 

Following her meetings with the Prime Minister Sali Berisha and Integration Minister Majlinda Bregu, Minister 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. 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, adding that the OSCE is ready to support this process.

Minister 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 five-day official trip to the region, during which she also visited Belgrade, Pristina, Skopje and Ljubljana.