Merkel's Revelations: My Heart Beats for WB, the Sun Will Probably Make Me Come Back!

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has chosen Albania for her farewell visit to the Balkans and the focus of her visit to Tirana on Tuesday was regional cooperation and mainly the implementation of the Common Regional Market, an initiative in the framework of the Berlin Process.

Merkel was received by the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama in a state ceremony at the Palace of Brigades in Tirana where he honored the German Chancellor with the Grand Cord with the Star of the Prime Minister's Medal of Public Acknowledgement. Merkel said she was "aware that it is a great honor".

As planned in the agenda, the tete-a-tete Merkel-Rama meeting was held at the Palace of Brigades. The meeting lasted about 45 minutes. Following it, Merkel held a wide-ranging meeting with heads of state and government from the Western Balkans.

In the joint press conference, Albanian PM Edi Rama thanked Chancellor Angela Merkel for all the work done by her during these years for the whole region, "Without Chancellor Merkel, the Balkans would not be the same as it is today and that the Berlin Process, launched by her, has made the Western Balkans a better place. "

"I planned to come to all your countries, but it was impossible," Merkel said at a meeting with Balkan prime ministers. The meeting between Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Edi Rama and other heads of Balkan governments took place at the Tirana Business Park.

In the joint press conference with Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Rama said that the Western Balkans is a better place than it was before the start of the Berlin process. Rama said that the Chancellor will miss this region after her departure from politics.

"Today the Western Balkans is a much better place than it was before the Berlin process started. Whatever the winner, Angela Merkel will miss this region. It was an honor and a privilege to have this endeavor with her, to get to know her and I learned from her," he said

Rama praised her for launching the Berlin process, a process that is a vision far from sight not just to go through a phase of several years, but to see the future all together. "Beyond all the concrete results in terms of the areas covered by the Berlin process, the greatest achievement is the establishment of a spirit of cooperation, interaction and a sense of a common future," Rama said.

For her part, German Chancellor Merkel said in the joint press conference that relations with Albania are quite good and they can further expand their cooperation. "I congratulate Albania on the efforts it has made in recent years to restructure its justice system," said Merkel, who avoided using the word 'successes' in all her statements and answers to journalists using 'efforts' instead.

"Both Albania and North Macedonia have met the set conditions to start membership negotiations. Unfortunately, membership was not achieved due to Bulgaria's veto, but we have promised that we will be close to this process as a lot of strength and energy have been invested in it," she said.

Regarding "Open Balkan", Chancellor Merkel did not mention it in her speech, emphasizing only the "Common Regional Market". However she said that "if you meet it is your right and I greet it. I hope that you continue in this direction. My heart beats for this region and the sun will probably encourage me to come and closely follow the developments of these countries," she said.

According to her, all cooperation in several dimensions has been consolidated and there has been talk of infrastructure projects, the launch of works for the peace highway. "Another topic was that at the moment that the countries of this region join the EU, they will have the obligations for the climate, the conditions that had to be changed in the region."

In addition she supported the regional common market project, the four agreements. "Some countries have not joined yet. Today we have agreed that the more we cooperate in this context, the stronger the Berlin process will be. This process does not replace EU membership," she said.

Ms. Merkel became the initiator of the Berlin Process in August 2014, which involved the 6 countries of the Western Balkans in a joint effort to accelerate their integration into the European Union. The Berlin Process aims to normalize and revitalize regional relations in the fields of infrastructure, economy and youth exchanges through reforms, the resolution of bilateral issues and reconciliation between the societies of the region.

In the meantime PM Edi Rama did not stop the attacks on Kosovo PM Albin Kurti even though he was in the presence of Chancellor Angela Merkel. According to him, Kurti is engaged in conspiracy with regard to the 'Open Balkan' project.

Kurti has come out against the project "Open Balkans" initiated by Rama and Vucic, but has been joined by other countries such as Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina, which reject the initiative, part of which is besides Albania and Serbia, even North Macedonia.

Rama went so far as to give orders to his staff not to allow journalists from Kosovo to ask questions during the press conference. But the Kosovo journalists who had come from Pristina got frustrated and organized a protest accusing Edi Rama of what he did against them. /argumentum.al