Albania’s EU chief negotiator: Undetermined delays can undermine trust

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Albania’s chief negotiator for EU integration Zef Mazi visited Skopje on Friday where he met with high state officials and convey a positive message on the membership process.

After meeting North Macedonia’s foreign affairs minister, Mazi said “decoupling” would be a “mistake”, adding that both states have fulfilled the conditions prior to holding their first Intergovernmental Conference.

“Today we stand before one fact, despair and loss of trust, or the so-called tired of waiting must be avoided. Actually, the good words must meet the deeds. Undetermined delays on holding the first IGC add to the tiredness and in fact undermines trust”, Mazi said.

North Macedonia foreign affairs minister Bujar Osmani said that the country does not want to become an obstacle to Albania’s Euro-Atlantic path, and recalled that the citizens will regard the EU differently if it doesn’t keep its word and launch negotiations even after completing all the reforms.

“We’re not against launching negotiations with Albania, and I never think that was our approach. Given that Albania’s path to the EU helps the entire region, it is helpful to us as well. What we’re saying is that North Macedonia should also start negotiations as it has fulfilled all the conditions”, he said.

Albania’s chief negotiator also met with President Stevo Pendarovski and the Speaker of the Assembly Talat Xhaferi sharing the message that the two states have common interests in almost all fields, hence bilateral cooperation is crucial.

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