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Albania, Croatia, Montenegro boost cooperation on strategic projects

Albanian, Croatian, Montenegrin ministers of foreign affairs met Friday in the coastal city of Durres, Albania | Youtube snapshot

Albanian, Croatian, Montenegrin ministers of foreign affairs met Friday in the coastal city of Durres, Albania, where they expressed commitment to promote and boost cooperation on strategic projects, said Xinhua news agency.

In a joint press conference, the three FMs, Ditmir Bushati, Marija Pejcinovic Buric and Srdan Darmanovic, told reporters that Albania, Croatia and Montenegro were set to cooperate in strategic projects such as the blue corridor and Ionian Adriatic pipeline as regional projects which strategically interconnect these three countries.

“The Blue Corridor” is considered as the biggest project that will link the Mediterranean, north of Croatia and its southern part with Montenegro, Albania and below with Greece, to create “The Mediterranean Ring”.

 The construction of this highway was agreed in a meeting between the prime ministers of Albania, Edi Rama, Croatia, Zoran Milanovic, Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic and Bosnia, Vjekoslav Bevanda. This meeting was held in Croatia in 2015 and came after the Berlin Conference on West Balkan in August of the same year.

According to the source, the meeting in Durres was the second Adriatic trilateral ministerial among Albania, Croatia and Montenegro, following the first one in Split, Croatia, in February 2017. The three conferees considered the cooperation between their countries as a valuable mechanism that contributes to the security, stability and prosperity of southeast Europe.

Albania's Bushati and Croatia's Buric congratulated Montenegro for its recent accession to NATO.

The three FMs underscored the great importance of the European enlargement to the Western Balkans as the most powerful drive towards increased prosperity and security of the entire area.

In this framework, Buric and Darmanovic voiced full support of Croatia and Montenegro for the immediate opening of European Union accession talks with Albania.

The third Adriatic Trilateral Ministerial would take place in Montenegro in 2018.

The Blue Corridor or the Adriatic-Ionian highway is under construction alongside the western coast of the Adriatic and Ionian sea. The Adriatic Ionian highway joins the Dalmatian segment with the Greek sea coast. For Albania, this regional project means a new highway alongside the coast.

It connects the coast of Montenegro with the Greek coast through Albania and it may be funded by EU with the funds for candidate members.

The project of the road has a length of 350 km and can be divided into these segments starting from the North.