London, U.K (31 OCTOBER 2018) – In a brief ceremony this morning at the High Commission, His Excellency Dr Kevin Isaac, High Commissioner of St. Kitts and Nevis, joined by his counterpart, His Excellency Mr Oirjako Qirko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Albania, signed a joint communique formalising diplomatic relations between the Federation and the Republic of Albania.
The two diplomatic envoys discussed opportunities for collaboration in the United Kingdom to forge partnerships in the areas of tourism, investment promotion and to greater small states advocacy in international organisations such as the United Nations. During the discussion, High Commissioner Isaac and Ambassador Qirko agreed to work more closely and in a timely manner to effect a reciprocal visa exemption protocol that would allow their citizens visa free access to each other’s territory.
High Commissioner Isaac praised the signing ceremony as an opportunity to build people-to-people linkages and government-to-government partnership. Ambassador Qirko, seconded the sentiments of High Commissioner Isaac that small countries must work more closely together to address common challenges. As Albania is experiencing an economic revival and is focussing on tourism, Ambassador Qirko spoke of the need to exchange ideas and to learn from each other and praised the importance of the formalising of relations as a symbol of the two countries intent to cement their relationship.
Albania is a country rich in minerals and natural gas, located in Southeast Europe on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea within the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. “ After experiencing widespread social and political transformations during the communist era, as well as isolation from much of the international community; in the aftermath of the Revolutions of 1991 which swept Eastern Europe, the Socialist Republic was dissolved and the fourth Republic of Albania was established. The country is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, UNESCO, NATO, WTO, COE, OSCE and OIC.” It is also an official candidate for membership in the European Union; a founding members of the Energy Community, including the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and Union for the Mediterranean; and a candidate for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security council for 2022-2023.
High Commissioner Isaac reiterated the ongoing commitment of Foreign Minister Brantley and the Unity Government of St. Kitts and Nevis to build strong and enduring bridges of friendship throughout Europe, as an opportunity to anchor its people empowerment agender in sustainable bilateral and multilateral partnerships. Dr Isaac expressed confidence that “today’s signing will promote greater awareness and understanding, allowing our two countries to build awareness about opportunities for our peoples and to benefit from our shared experiences and cooperation initiatives.