Albania Joined NATO 12 Years Ago, Now It's at the Gates of the EU

Thursday marks 12 years since Albania's membership in NATO. The Speaker, Gramoz Ruçi, greeted this significant day for this Balkan country, while emphasizing that Albania is ready to open accession negotiations with the EU.
Albania joined NATO on April 1, 2009, then led by the DP government with Prime Minister Sali Berisha, while President Bush's historic visit took place earlier in 2007.
"Today is a historic date in Albania's Euro-Atlantic journey," Ruci said in his message released by social media outlets on Thursday.
"NATO membership was the culmination of Albania's achievements and contributions to security, stability and peace. During these 12 years, Albania has been tested as a worthy member of the Alliance and has contributed to its missions in aid of peace and security in some regions of the planet," said the Speaker.
Further on he said Albania, with its Euro-Atlantic roots, culture and aspirations, arrived 12 years ago at one of its western stations, that of security and peace.

"Today we are at the gates of the EU, the station of development and prosperity, and ready to open negotiations. Upon arrival at this station, Albania and the Albanians end the asymmetric position between our European identity, our Euro-Atlantic position and which is being continued and complemented by joining the European family and a full return to the European political habitat. Albania in NATO and the gates of the EU are the merits of all Albanians.But today is the time to express our gratitude for the strong support of our strategic partners, the United States and the European Union for the strong support of our Euro-Atlantic path," concluded the message of Speaker Gramoz Ruçi. /