Albania Signs Pre-Membership Pact with EU
Tuesday, June 13, 2006 2:00 PM

Albania on June 12 signed a Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU, Reuters reported the same day. Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha and EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn signed the agreement at a ceremony during a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. An SAA is a
crucial first step toward joining the union, but EU officials said Albania still faces a long and difficult path before membership. "This is the first stepping stone towards the European Union for Albania," Rehn said. "It will foster mutually beneficial economic and political relations between Albania and the EU. Nevertheless, Albania still faces difficult reform challenges," he said. "We now  look to Albania to show determination in fulfilling the commitments it has made," he added. Berisha called the agreement an "historical landmark towards fulfillment of Albanians' dream to return and reunite with their European family." BW

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Published in: "Albania Signs Pre-Membership Pact with EU," Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty,, 13 June 2006.