Home Page
09 Apr 12

Albania's Berisha Courts Turkish Alliance

As the government of Sali Berisha continues to be shunned by the EU for its poor rule of law record and pervasive corruption, Tirana turns to its former imperial ruler for support.

Besar Likmeta BIRN Tirana
Sali Berisha and Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a press conference in Ankara on Thursday, April 5, 2012

During a two-day visit to Turkey on Thursday and Friday, Berisha met Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recaps Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

In Ankara Berisha signed two diplomatic agreements, further strengthening cooperation between the two countries, while the Turkish premier promised to boost investments in Albania.   

“Albania is Turkey’s strategic ally in the Balkans,” Erdogan told a joint press conference.  “Currently trade between the two countries is valued at $400 million… and we intend to boost Turkish investments that have already surpassed one billion dollars,” Erdogan added.  

Berisha otherwise underlined that Turkey had played an important role for peace and stability in the Balkans in the past two decades, while their view on the region’s future were identical.

“Respect for current existing borders is in the best interest of the nations in the Balkans,” Berisha said, adding that Albania would support Turkey’s bid to join the UN Security Council.

“Turkey will play a very important role in the highest international forum,” Berisha added.

Albania declared independence in 1912 during the First Balkan War, following the sudden collapse in Europe of the Ottoman Empire, the precursor state to the modern Turkish Republic.

But Albania has been stuck for the last two years in the EU waiting room, failing to progress further toward accession due to a divisive political crisis at home and a reputation for corruption.

Tirana first applied for EU candidacy in April 2009. Its bid was turned down for the second time last October owing to the crippling political crisis that has brought reforms to a standstill.

The European Commission said not enough progress had been made in political dialogue or in the fight against organized crime and corruption and it rejected the bid for candidate status for a second year in a row last November.

With Brussels showing increasing skepticism about Albania’s ability to undertake reforms, Berisha has increasingly turned his eyes east, seeking new investments and allies.

Last month he visited Azerbaijan, where Berisha sought investments in Albania’s oil sector and support for the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline project, which passes though Albania.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

News

nationalists-block-bulgaria-s-border-checkpoints-with-turkey-03-21-2017
21 Mar 17

Nationalists Block Bulgaria’s Border Checkpoints with Turkey

The nationalist United Patriots coalition blocked key checkpoints at the Bulgarian-Turkish border to prevent what it called ‘electoral tourism’ by Bulgarian Turks loyal to Ankara ahead of Sunday’s polls.

expert-downplays-turkish-threat-to-unleash-refuge-flood-03-17-2017
17 Mar 17

Turkish Threat to Scrap EU Refugee Deal Questioned

Minister’s threat to scrap readmission deal with EU and send thousands of refugees there each month deemed a ‘War of Words’.

turks-hold-protests-in-sarajevo-send-eu-message-03-13-2017
13 Mar 17

Pro-Erdogan Turks Hold Anti-EU Protest in Sarajevo

The protest in Sarajevo showed how tensions between Turkey and EU states over bans on rallies in support of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could spill over into the Balkans, experts said.

students-shocked-over-scrapping-of-macedonia-turkey-diploma-deal-01-23-2017
24 Jan 17

Turkey Scraps Diploma Deal With Macedonia

Turkey has scrapped a bilateral diploma acceptance deal with Macedonia after the authorities in Skopje failed to close schools and organisations suspected of links to alleged coup plotter Fethullah Gulen.

thaci-in-turkey-12-30-2016
30 Dec 16

Thaci Firms up Kosovo's Alliance With Turkey

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci has met his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara to again confirm the strong ties between Pristina and Ankara.

turkey-ponders-aftermath-of-blasts-that-killed-38-12-11-2016
11 Dec 16

Turkey Ponders Aftermath of Blasts that Killed 38

Turkish experts and citizens are pondering the security and political implications of the latest terror attacks that killed 38 in Istanbul for which Kurdish militants have claimed responsibility.

turkey-stands-at-crossroads-over-eu-path-11-24-2016
25 Nov 16

Turkey Stands at Crossroads Over EU Path

An expert on EU-Turkey relations says Ankara faces a stark choice on whether to engage again with Brussels, or openly turn its back on EU and European values.

turkey-dismisses-eu-vote-to-freeze-accession-talks-11-24-2016
24 Nov 16

Turkey Dismisses EU Vote to Freeze Accession Talks

After European Parliamentarians called for freeze to EU membership talks with Turkey, a Turkish minister called the decision ‘not serious’.

media-claim-turkish-attaches-seek-asylum-in-croatia-11-23-2016
23 Nov 16

Croatia Media Claim Turkish Attaches Sought Asylum

Media reports claim two former Turkish military attaches applied for a political asylum in Croatia following the failed coup there in July - amid continuing speculation about why the former ambassador was withdrawn.

balkan-states-reforming-at-different-paces-brussels-says-11-09-2016
09 Nov 16

Balkan States ‘Reforming, at Different Paces’, Brussels Says

The latest European Commission reports suggest most Balkan countries, bar Turkey and Macedonia, are broadly moving in the direction of reform – but big issues over corruption, the rule of law, media freedom and minorities remain.