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OSMANI: GREECE BECOMES OUR GREATEST PARTNER IN THE EUROPEAN INTEGRATIONS
16:22, Thursday, November 01, 2018

Deputy Prime Minister in charge of European Affairs, Bujar Osmani, in the framework of his working visit to Greece, met with the Alternative Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Jorgos Katruhalos.

The main topic of the meeting was the political development in the two countries following the decision of the Assembly to open the constitution of the Republic of Macedonia, in order to fulfil the obligations arising from the Prespa Agreement.

"We have a number of projects related to the Confidence building measures, but also in general in the direction of improving the communication and cooperation between the two countries, and whose implementation, according to the progress in political relations, should be implemented in accelerated pace," Osmani stressed at the meeting, pointing it as one of the more important initiatives of the EU Commissioner Hahn for trilateral cooperation between Macedonia, Greece and Albania for the sustainable development of the wider Prespa region, which besides the protection of the beautiful Prespa Lake, it also provides mutual border crossings around the lake, as well as projects for local economic development.

"Apart from the benefits for the local population, the success of this project has a wider symbolic meaning, because Prespa is already a symbol of reconciliation between the two countries, the success in overcoming the long-standing dispute, as well as a symbol of mutual cooperation and progress," Osmani said. Furthermore, Osmani mentioned other potential projects in the direction of improving the communication between the two countries. He pointed out the modernisation of the Bitola Kremenica railway line, as a key railway connection between Skopje and Thessaloniki, which is, in turn, the most important trade approach of the business to the Thessaloniki port, as well as the gas interconnection between the two countries, which he indicated that Macedonia has already applied for grant through the Western Balkans Investment Framework, where Greece is also a donor.

"Of course, the most important thing for us is the cooperation that we expect to achieve for success in our European integration. The success of the Prespa Agreement puts Greece in the rank of countries - friends whose support for our European integrations within the Union is noticeable," Osmani stressed, announcing the joint project between the two ministries for creating of the so-called "EU Task Force" working group for exchange of experiences in the process of European integration, the started screening process, the upcoming negotiation process, but also the process of communication with the European administration and the successful utilization of IPA funds.

After the meeting, Osmani and Katrugalos headed to the Athens airport for a symbolic solemn sending, where Osmani would use the first flight for over ten years between Athens and Skopje to return back home.

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