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SZIJJÁRTÓ: EU MUST START ACCESSION TALKS WITH ALBANIA IN JUNE

 

The European Union must open accession talks with Albania next month, Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said, adding that the bloc’s failure to start the negotiations would be “unacceptable” to Hungary. At a joint press conference after talks with Gent Cakaj, Albania’s minister for European and foreign affairs, in Budapest, Szijjártó underlined the importance of stability in the Western Balkans. Tensions in the region would only provide new opportunities for terrorists and terrorist organisations to enter the EU’s territory by taking advantage of migration waves, he said and quoted reports of “many thousands of migrants in Bosnia-Herzegovina about to set off for the EU”. Szijjártó reiterated Hungary’s support for EU enlargement towards the Western Balkans and Albania’s EU integration. He said that on June 18, the EU’s General Affairs Council would have to decide on starting accession talks with Albania. It would be “unacceptable” if it did not happen, Szijjártó said. ”
He called it “shocking” that the European Commission, “under pressure from France”, has decided not to disclose its enlargement package before the EP elections. The minister voiced incomprehension at not publishing the package earlier. The EU will only be strong and successful “if it not only talks about enlargement but implements it, too”, he insisted. Answering a question, he said that pro-enlargement members of the EU were in minority because “the large Western countries are sceptical”.
Cakaj said his country was working to meet the EU’s accession criteria and its achievements were recognised by the European Council.
Earlier, the two ministers signed an agreement on cooperation in waste and water management, climate policy, renewable energies and energy efficiency projects.