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Press statement by Viktor Orbán after his meeting with Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania

Jó napot kívánok! Hölgyeim és Uraim! Good afternoon to Everybody!

May I just introduce the Prime Minister of Albania, who is a great friend of Hungary back for ages? We started to cooperate many, many years ago, and his visit is a great reward to Hungary – especially because he is a prime minister who was able to win three times one after the other elections. Consecutive three elections is something extraordinary in the European politics, especially if the political fight is strong. And in vivid democracies like in Albania and Hungary the political fight is always very, very strong, confrontational and vivid. So may I just congratulate the Prime Minister for your success and victory?

Issues we have discussed today, first is the political cooperation of the two countries. We are approaching to the one hundredth anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries, and we would like to make it a nice and culturally surrounded political jubilee. We agreed that there are not any many major differences between the two countries on foreign policies. What is even more important and the main issue, which is enlargement of the European Union and membership of Albania. We Hungarians are not just supportive, but we are very much committed and devoted to help Albania to get part of the European Union. Not just because it’s motivated by our sympathy, but because it’s motivated by our interest as well. We are convinced that without providing a membership possibility for that part of the European continent, we cannot stabilize – neither in economic terms nor in security terms – of that part of Europe. So Albania will play a very important role in the future – of our common European future. Then we consulted and negotiated on economic issues. We are very happy that we were able to find a so-called flagship project, which is the OTP Bank, which was welcomed by the Albanian government to launch its operation in Albania. So we have the first major investment in Albania, and the lesson we have got in the last several years is that the flagship project is the most important thing. When we have the flagship, the other ships will appear on the water soon, and other investors will come and will be present there also. So these were the frame of that meeting.

I would like to underline again, which is the main political message for today, that Hungary is fully committed to Albania to manage its membership as soon as we can without any insufficient and unnecessary preconditions to join the European Union. And Hungary will do our utmost what we can.

So, Prime Minister, thank you very much.