Edi Rama: Europe, Arab Countries Need to Work Closer and Face Future Challenges Together

October 29, 2019

ATHENS – Greece is “an exemplary country in its efforts to receive people in despair and refugees trying to escape wars,” Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said on Tuesday in Athens, and added that what Greece and Italy are going through reflects the lack of a common European policy.

Addressing the 4th EU-Arab World Summit, taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday, Rama said that the refugee crisis should be seen on a greater scale, not just focus on European responses to border control.

Speaking of the codependence between Europe and the Arab world in energy and security, he said interregional collaboration should be boosted. Albania specifically, Rama said, may jeopardize its security by allowing into the country thousands of Iranians fleeing their government, but this is a long-time policy of protection that dates as far back as World War II, when it also protected Jews. “We did not surrender a single one to the Nazis,” he said.

Rama said countries have a lot to learn from the Arab world, including technology and culture. Speaking of the annual Mediterranean Conference hosted by Albania on October 24-25, he said it provided a focus on youth and on closing the gap of understanding between European and Arab young people. “There are many opportunities and challenges ahead in our common future,” he said, and both sides need to improve communication between them.


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