Tirana advised before EU bid

During a visit to Tirana yesterday, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis called on Albania to ensure that the country’s parliamentary elections are trouble-free ahead of the Balkan state’s bid to join the European Union. Speaking in the neighboring country’s parliament a day before Albania officially submits a request to join the EU, Karamanlis said that the June poll had to be carried out «in accordance with international standards» and with «respect to human and minority rights.» The Greek premier repeated the message to his Albanian counterpart Sali Berisha during their meeting, underlining the EU’s concern about corruption and violence possibly marring the election. The leaders signed an agreement delineating the continental shelf and sea borders in the Ionian Sea and praised relations between the two countries. Karamanlis also held an unofficial meeting with representatives of the ethnic Greek community.

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