Tirana (MTI) – Hungary resolutely supports Albania in its European Union integration efforts, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said in Tirana, where he had talks on Friday.
Albania is a key NATO member from the point of view of the security of the western Balkan region and it will serve as a key transit route for supplying gas to Europe from Azerbaijan, Szijjártó told MTI by phone. The Hungarian government therefore welcomes the European Commission’s proposal to start accession talks with Albania as soon as possible, he said, adding that accelerating EU enlargement would, in the Hungarian government’s view, strengthen the bloc.
At the EU summit in December, Hungary will propose commencing accession talks with Albania once the country completes its judicial reforms, he said.
Szijjártó agreed with his Albanian counterpart Ditmir Bushati that a Hungarian diplomat with extensive EU integration experience would be assigned to the Albanian foreign ministry from next February as an advisor.
He noted that Hungary has been operating a trading house in Tirana since July and its Eximbank has opened a 185 million euro credit line to support bilateral businesses.
The foreign minister said that he signed an agreement during his visit on granting Hungarian scholarships to support the studies of 20 Albanian students at Hungarian universities from next September.