At the joint press meeting held right after the meetings, Speaker Mustafa Şentop greeted press members and other participants in Albanian and conveyed greetings of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Turkish people.
Şentop stated that he and his delegation are pleased to be in friend and brother Albania upon the invitation of Ruçi, Speaker of the Parliament of Albania and told that the two countries share a rooted history and a rich common culture.
Şentop pointed out the fact that the two countries have many common personage including Gedik Ahmet Pasha who organized the expedition of Otoranto, Sedefkar Mehmet Aga from Elbasanlı who is the architect of Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Hodja Tahsin, Founder and Rector of Istanbul University, national poet Mehmet Akif Ersoy who wrote the Turkish National Anthem, Sami Frasheri (Şemsettin Sami) who made the studies of the first Turkish encyclopedia and dictionary.
Şentop indicated that the bilateral relations are excellent worthiliy of the historical friendship and alliance and that they addressed profoundly beneficial issues during the tete-a-tete and the meeting between delegations and disscussed all aspects of bilateral relations and interparliamentary cooperation in detail.
Şentop told that he would also be meeting with President Ilir Meta and Prime Minister Edi Rama and reminded that they upgraded bilateral relations to the level of "strategic partnership" during Prime Minister Rama’s visit to Turkey on January 6-7.
Şentop said, "Formalizing our strategic partnership will carry our cooperation in each and every field to much better levels. During Prime Minister Rama’s visit, we agreed on building a district hospital to Fier. Today, I’d like to state with pleasure that construction works are underway, at full speed."
Şentop told that he mentioned FETÖ’s activities regarding their military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 in Turkey, to his counterpart Ruçi and his delegation and stated the following:
"Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) has a presence in Albania just like it has in many Balkan countries. This terrorist organization is one that did not hesitate to bomb our Grand National Assembly of Turkey while it was in session. Turkey has been cleared from this terrorist organization to a great extent. However, this organization which has an international qualification doest not target Turkey only. This terrorist organization executes and hides its secret ambitions and purposes behind innocent masks like education, health services, various
associations, media work, etc. It poses a great security threat to all the countries in which it conducts its activities. I’d like to indicate that we will never let FETÖ poison the relations between our countries."
Şentop told that economic and trade relations constitute an important aspect of the relations between the two countries and finished his words accordingly:
"Currently, our total trade volume is around half a billion dollars. As Mr. Speaker mentioned, we have investments worth above 3,5 billion dollars with contracting services in Albania. We are determined to increase our trade volume to the level of 1 billion dollars within a few years. In addition, we wish and aim to increase our investments in Albania especially in the fileld of tourism. We have acquired necessary authorization to open our Consulate General in Avlona. Hopefully, it will be activated soon. Therefore, we will be establishing an important point that would contribute to developing tourism in the southern region of Albania."
At the joint press meeting held together with Şentop after the tete-a-tete and meeting between delegations, Gramoz Ruçi, Speaker of the Parliament of Albania reminded that Turkey has aided Albania in the field of health infrastructure, gave the opportunity to Albanian citizen patients to be treated in Turkey and finally is building a district hospital in the city of Fier.
Ruçi thanked for the help of the Turkish nation and government to Albania with the initiatives of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and told that after the earthquake in Albania on November 26, 2019, 522 residences were built with the support of Turkey and again during the fight with the pandemic, Turkey has helped them a lot and told that they are grateful for all these.
Ruçi explained that he told Speaker Şentop that as Albania, they value the traditional and friendly relations as well as the strategic partnership between the two countries and underlined that all those serve for good neighborly relations, stability, peace and development within the region and throughout a broader geography.
Ruçi stated that they have evaluated Prime Minister Edi Rama’s visit to Ankara on January 6 and his meetings there, "Of course we have welcomed with pleasure, signing of a joint political declaration. This declaration carries our bilateral relations to the level of strategic partnership. Albania and Turkey are reliable partners within NATO and they are working intensely to reach their national goals towards becoming a EU member."
Ruçi stated that European integration is an irremediable and invariable destination for both countries and told that they have agreed on continuing their support to Turkish firms for them to make larger investments in Albania.
Ruçi indicated that they have evaluated and welcomed with pleasure, the agreement signed at the White House in order to normalize economic relations between Kosovo and Serbia and added that a comprehensive solution which would lead to the two countries recognizing each other in a way of protecting their sovereignty and territorial integrity, is essential for Kosovo and Serbia for them to move forward.