Senior Turkish MP hails 2019 start of Albania EU talks

By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu

ANKARA (AA) – A top Turkish parliamentarian on Wednesday hailed the expected start next year of Albania’s European Union accession negotiations.

"We are glad at the start of Albanian's negotiations process with the EU in June 2019," said Volkan Bozkir, the head of parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, meeting at his offices with Mimi Kodheli, his Albanian counterpart.

This June the EU “set the path towards opening accession negotiations” with Albania a year later.

The large number of Turkish citizens of Albanian descent "serve as a bridge between the two countries," Bozkir added.

"We also plan to improve our relations with our friend, ally, and strategic partner Albania."

For her part, Kodheli said that they want to benefit from Turkey's experience from its own EU negotiation process.

"Turkey's power, Turkey's economy are not just affecting Albania but also the entire Balkans," she said.