Last Updated on Wednesday, 2 March, 2022 at 8:00 pm by Andre Camilleri
President George Vella held meetings with President Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu of Kosovo and President Ilir Meta of Albania, at San Anton Palace. The two foreign heads of state are in Malta to participate in the 2nd World Forum for Culture of Peace which is being held in Malta on 3-4 March.
The invasion of Ukraine, its effects on the population, and the possible further escalation and spill-over of the instability into the Western Balkans were issues that were common to both meetings.
President Vella welcomed the meeting with President Osmani-Sadriu as an excellent opportunity to exchange views on issues of mutual interest and the potential for enhanced bilateral cooperation in the avenues of trade, education, and the sharing of expertise. He added that Malta continues to support Kosovo in its efforts towards accession to the European Union while reiterating the long-standing position on the fact that the security of Europe cannot be detached from that of the Western Balkans.
On her part, President Osmani-Sadriu expressed Kosovo’s appreciation to the recognition extended by Malta in 2008, and the tangible assistance provided ever since. The President gave an overview of the political and economic reforms presently underway in her country and updated President Vella with the progress made on the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue.
During discussions with Ilir Meta, President Vella conveyed Malta’s commitment to further consolidate relations with Albania through the identification of new areas of engagement. He also underlined Malta’s support for Albania’s EU perspective and expressed the hope for the formal opening of accession negotiations. The two counties, President Vella added, also share a common interest in a safe and prosperous Mediterranean region.
President Meta spoke of Albania’s interest in looking closely at the successful reforms and measures taken by Malta in transforming its economy as well as the path that led to its EU membership in 2004. The avenues of health, education, maritime cooperation, transhipment, and financial services present very good opportunities for strengthened sectoral cooperation between the two countries. President Meta also referred to the sizeable community of Albanian nationals in Malta and conveyed his country’s appreciation for the way in which Malta has welcomed them along the years.