The high level talks were organized with the Prime Minister of Albania, Sali Berisha, and with the Minister of Economy, Trade and Energy, Genc Ruli.
TAP project representatives informed Albanian officials about the progress of the project and thanked Albanian government for providing continuous support.
Prime Minister of Albania Sali Berisha said that his government considers TAP gas pipeline project of great strategic, political and economic importance for his country. He stated that Albania is committed to the project and will continue promoting it on the international political level. In particular, Prime Minister Berisha mentioned that TAP was high on his agenda during meetings with political leaders of Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Switzerland at the Davos international forum in Switzerland in January. He also requested support from the United States during his recent meeting with the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton in America. Additionally, in recent talks with the government of Croatia, Prime Ministers Ivo Sanader and Berisha agreed that TAP is an important element in their energy cooperation plans.
During the meeting Albanian government officials promised TAP representatives to enhance cooperation with Italy and Greece in order to create a favourable legal environment for the project. Additionally, Albania will promote the project in Turkey, TAP transit country, and in Azerbaijan, the gas producing country.
TAP project representatives expressed their appreciation for Albania’s efforts and its contribution to the energy cooperation issues in Europe, particularly as a contracting party of the Treaty of energy community. Recently Albania fulfilled its obligations to the Treaty by approving a new gas law, which is in full compliance with the directives of the European Union. TAP Board of Directors pointed out that this legislation allows TAP to qualify for the important status of EU Interconnector, as it joins together Italy and Greece, two EU member countries, via Albania.
Also, during this official visit on the 9th-10th of February, TAP started Special Permit Agreement negotiations with the Albanian working group led by the Albanian Ministry of Economy, Trade and Energy. This Agreement will specify TAP rights and obligations in regard to developing, constructing and operating gas pipeline on the territory of Albania.
Other topics on the agenda during the high level negotiations included plans to open a TAP branch office in Tirana.