Turkey-Albania panel to be held in Tirana

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The communications directorate of the Turkish presidency will organize Friday in Tirana, the Albanian capital, the round table on peace, stability and development in the Balkans: relations between Turkey and Albania.

According to a leadership statement, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will pay an official visit to Albania on Monday.

The panel to be held in Tirana ahead of this visit aims to bring the relations between the two countries, which have recently accelerated, to a higher level and assess opportunities for cooperation.

As part of the panel, topics including potential areas of cooperation between the two countries such as the fight against terrorism, developments in the Balkans, Turkey’s policy in the Balkans, economic cooperation and the contribution of the two countries to stability in the Balkans, will be discussed.

Meryem Ilayda Atlas Çetin, TRT Board Member and Journalist, will moderate the panel, Lindita Latifi Xhanari, Director of the Center for Balkan Studies at New York University Tirana, Hasan Basri Yalçın, Faculty Member from Ticaret University in Istanbul, Aylin Ünver Noi, faculty member of Haliç University, and Albanian Ambassador. Genti Gazheli will participate as a speaker.

Last year, Turkey and Albania signed an agreement aimed at raising bilateral relations to the level of a strategic partnership.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama following meetings in the capital Ankara, President Erdoğan stressed the historical ties between the two countries.

“We plan to increase investment in infrastructure and tourism in Albania. We want to take our economic cooperation to a new dimension,” Erdoğan said.

The Turkey-Albania Fier Regional Hospital, built by Turkey, also opened in April with a ceremony. Construction of the hospital began in January, right after Rama’s visit to Turkey, following Erdoğan’s promise.

According to the agreement signed by Turkish and Albanian officials on February 2, 2021, Turkey promised to build a 150-bed hospital, donate medical equipment, materials and furniture, and provide counseling through the intermediary of the Turkish Ministry of Health.

Albania is a close friend and partner of Turkey in the Balkans. Turkey also started construction of 522 residences in the Albanian town of Lac in December 2020 for people who lost their homes in two earthquakes in September and November 2019.

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