On December 3 in Sofia Hotel Balkan H. E. Mrs. Donika Hoxha, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Albania to the Republic of Bulgaria,

gave a reception on the occasion of the Independence Day (1912). It was attended by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Emilia Kraleva and other officials, ambassadors and diplomats , representatives of the Albanian diaspora in Bulgaria, friends.

In her welcoming speech to the guests, H. E. Mrs. Donika Hoxha thanked them for their presence at the reception and said:

To me personally, this is a unique occasion in the sense that I have just arrived and presented the Letters of Credence to the President of the Republic of Bulgaria on the 28th of November, on our exact National Day, as Albanians worldwide were and are still celebrating our Independence Day.

Bulgaria and Albania are traditional friends and today they are allies. Our relationship is based on common interests, similar viewpoints of security in Europe and the Trans-Atlantic community, shared values and beliefs.

I would also like to celebrate today the genuine historical, cultural and human bonds between Albania and Bulgaria. They go back in the history of our state formation and extend to these days with Bulgaria’s support to Albania’s pathway towards European integration. We thank Bulgaria for keeping the Western Balkan region high in the political agenda of the European Union during its recent presidency.

We are grateful to EU member countries and especially to the European Parliament for its strong support on Albania’s accession process to the EU. The last report of the European Parliament adopted only a few days ago clearly acknowledges immense progress achieved by Albania in the areas related to the rule of law and calls for the start of accession talks in 2019.

Albania stands ready for the new challenging page of accession process.

With the support of the EU, the US and partner countries, we are carrying out an unprecedented and comprehensive justice reform, which has rippling effect in a number of other sectors not less the economy.

We want this support and engagement to continue as we strongly believe that if Albanian institutions are resilient and rule of law is strong we can contribute more to stability and peace in the Western Balkans and beyond to security in Europe and in the Transatlantic community.

Even though a small country, Albania stands along its allies in the joint fight against terrorism, radicalization and violent extremism. Our specific history of religious tolerance is a special asset, which we put in the service of prevention of these phenomena and global threats. Thus, she feels ready to chair the OSCE in 2020 and wishes in a positive response by the membre countries to its presidency as well as she has presented its candidature for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for 2022-2023.

We are creating a more positive environment for foreign investments to be more present in Albania and we want also Bulgaria to be more present and to carry out together the connectivity agenda of the region.

Albanian diaspora is another success story of our two nation’s relationship. The Albanian community in Bulgaria has played an important role in the Albanian state formation and there are also Albanians although a few in number that have contributed and are contributing to the economic and cultural life in Bulgaria.

The small and beautiful Albania which you can admire today in the pictures, taken through the eyes of ordinary Albanians and foreigners who participated in the digital contest "Colours of Albania 2018", is now moving ahead and thriving amidst and against many challenges.

We are very optimistic because the economic potential of our country and most importantly, the energy, the drive and the curiosity of young people in Albania make us believe in the future ahead.

After the speech H. E. Mrs. Donika Hoxha and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Emilia Kraleva cut the festive cake together.

Then all the guests had the opportunity to enjoy the conversations as well as the famous Albanian wines and liqueurs specially served at the reception.

They showed interest in the photos of the beautiful Albania.

The photos are provided by the Embassy of the Republic of Albania in the Republic of Bulgaria.