Albania-Türkiye relations explored at international conference marking 100 years of modern relationship

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 26, 2023 16:34

Albania-Türkiye relations explored at international conference marking 100 years of modern relationship

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  • The international conference featured presentations of the deputy foreign ministers of Turkey and Albania, other officials, academics as well as representatives of various organizations.

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TIRANA, April 24, 2023 - Relations between Albania and Türkiye were the focus of an international conference held on Monday to mark a century of diplomatic relations between the two states.

The conference featured presentations of officials from Türkiye and Albania, academics as well as representatives of various organizations.

It was co-organized by the Albanian Institute for International Studies, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania, the Turkish Embassy in Tirana and the Albania-Türkiye Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ATTSO).

-Good and improving relations based on mutual strategic interest-

AIIS Chairman Albert Rakipi told the conference that during the last 30 years, Albanian-Turkish relations have developed in a linear, stable manner. 

"After the fall of communism and Albania’s emergence from its long isolation and ideological bunker, Albanian-Turkish relations developed in a linear way, consolidating and advancing steadily. In the international relations of post-communist Albania, relations with Türkiye were probably the only ones that didn’t go through ups and downs -- there were no clashes, disagreements and even less any crisis -- phenomena that have actually accompanied the relations with many other states, including countries with which Albania claims to have strategic relations," Dr. Rakipi said.

He added that Albanian-Turkish relations are unique -- first and foremost due to their strategic character when it comes to defense and security issues. 

“These relations have always been strategic in the post-Cold War environment, and Türkiye has played a balancing role in the geopolitical setting of the troubled Balkans. Having just emerged from communism as a failed state and lacking the capacities and abilities to defend itself under the threat of being involved in the Yugoslav wars, Albania based its defense on a close relationship with Türkiye, in addition to its strong ties with the United States,” Dr. Rakipi said. 

Dr Rakipi added that as the two countries further develop, the ties are likely to continue to grow, especially in areas where there is mutual strategic interest.

-Deputy FMs say strategic partnership important-

Turkish Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mehmet Kemal Bozay said in his remarks at the conference the people of Türkiye were grateful for the solidarity offered by the Albanian people and the Albanian government after the recent devastating earthquakes in Türkiye, adding it would never  be forgotten

Diving into the development of relations Deputy Minister Bozay added the friendly relations would continue to grow and evolve. 

"We must adapt to the rules of the new system, especially the EU accession process. We are dealing with transformation, with the green agreement, with the digital agenda, and in order to be in line with the EU requirements and to respect the levels of the climate agreement, Albania and Türkiye must use this friendship relationship to follow the same line, to follow the same standards as the world standards. We have to work together in this regard," Mr. Bozay said.

Bozay emphasized that he believes that the 100-year cooperation between Türkiye and Albania will be further developed in several key areas such as energy, agriculture, tourism, health, rural development and innovation.

"I am sure that the trust and cooperation between the two countries will continue to be exemplary for all other countries in the region and around the world,” Mr. Bozay said.

Albanian Deputy Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of Albania Megi Fino said  cooperation has been at the core of the 100-year-old relations and added that the relations between Albania and Türkiye have developed in a fraternal and strategic way up to the signing of the strategic partnership agreement signed in 2021.

"Türkiye has shown its generosity in its continuous support to Albania, as it did with the vote for Albania's membership in the United Nations, with the help it gave to Albania in 1991 and 1997, it has shown support for Albania in NATO membership, recognized Kosovo's independence and offered generous aid after the devastating earthquake and during the pandemic. All these are examples for which we express our gratitude to Türkiye,” Ms. Fino said. 

She added that Albania and Türkiye continue to develop a strategic partnership in all aspects of interest between the two countries.

-Economic ties also strong-

Albania-Türkiye Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ATTSO) President Bilal Kara said in addition to great political and diplomatic relations, the two countries enjoy strong economic ties.

"We have achieved the goals expressed by the governmental institutions of Türkiye and Albania. It is a privilege and an honor for our generation to see this brotherly cooperation. Today, we are happy to see that this beautiful relationship between the two countries has also been reflected in the economic and business fields," Mr. Kara said.

Other conference presenters included former Deputy Speaker of the Albanian Parliament Valentina Leskaj, the vice-rector of the New York University - Tirana Ilir Kalemaj, as well as Mehmet Uğur Ekinci, researcher at the SETA Foundation, Ankara.

Also present at the activity were Turkish Ambassador to Tirana, Tayyar Kağan Atay, the coordinator of the "Yunus Emre" Institute for Albania, Ömer Osman Demirbaş, the coordinator of TIKA in Tirana, Emine Gizem Başkan, and other officials of Turkish institutions in Albania.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 26, 2023 16:34