Erdogan, Berisha inaugurate highway in Albania
Accompanied by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and State Minister Selma Aliye Kavaf, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday arrived in Tirana, Albania to attend the opening of the 61-km Rreshen-Kalimash highway, constructed by a consortium of a US contractor and Turkish firm Enka. The highway, a key connection between Kosovo and the Durnes Port, Albania's primary harbor on the Adriatic Sea, includes several viaducts and two 5.5-km tubes with dual carriageways and emergency lanes. "This highway will not only connect cities and countries but also our hearts and bring our people much closer. I believe it will stimulate both Albania's and Kosovo's economic development," Erdogan told the opening ceremony. "The joy of Albania and Kosovo is our joy as well. It is Turkey that would most welcome the economic development of Albania and Kosovo. And this highway is the best example of this." Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha was also at the ceremony. Speaking at a joint press conference afterwards, Erdogan said he was pleased to attend the highway opening, adding that relations between Turkey and Albania have been developing in all areas in recent years. For his part, Berisha thanked Erdogan for his efforts to boost solidarity between Turkey and Albania and for supporting Albania's NATO membership bid. Erdogan was also received by Albanian President Bamir Topi. Beforehand, Erdogan met with Edi Rama, the chairman of Albania's Socialist Party and the mayor of Tirana. After completing his talks in Albania, Erdogan proceeded to Brussels to attend an official dinner hosted by the Crans Montana Forum in his honor. In Brussels, Erdogan today will address a meeting of the forum and chair a working lunch which will also be attended by EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn. Erdogan will also be presented with a Foundation Medal of the forum, and will hold separate talks with Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, and Rehn. Foreign Minister Davutoglu and State Minister and chief negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bağış will accompany Erdogan during his talks.