PM Rama: I Always Admired Turkish President Erdoğan PM Edi Rama on state visit in Turkey, July 1, 2016. Source: Facebook.

In an interview with Turkish news agency Anadolu Agency, Prime Minister Edi Rama expressed, among other things, his admiration for Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the work that he has done. Rama said that he had always had a special relationship with Erdoğan.

Some of Rama’s main points during the interview included:

Rama and Erdoğan’s relationship

  • “I have always admired [Erdogan’s] extraordinary work as Istanbul mayor and his transformative role. He has been one of my inspirations with regards to the work I have done in Tirana.”
  • “Afterwards, I had the pleasure of meeting him and building a relationship on mutual respect.”
  • “This is a special relationship, because it is based on a principle you rarely see in politics and diplomacy, and that is the idea that ‘no’ means ‘no’ and ‘yes’ means ‘yes’.”
  • “Attacking Islamic religion and exhibiting an Islamophobic attitude is actually an attack on the essential roots of the Albanian fruit and on the source of existence of our nationality.”

Camps for asylum seekers

  • “Any talk of any EU-related refugee camp in Albania is pure fantasy.”
  • “We have not received any proposal of the kind, and have never even considered it as a possibility.”
  • “We are willing to do everything our allies do, and receive our share, but we are not going to do what others are unwilling to, not when they are so much more powerful and richer.”

EU integration

  • “The process of integration into the EU is increasingly complicated and unpredictable, at the same time, as a result of internal turmoil within the EU and undercurrents that oppose enlargement, and even the EU itself, coming from some important Member States.”
  • “We will continue our work, because for us the process of EU integration is not a journey to move from Tirana to Brussels, but, rather, an internal journey to modernize and build a functional state that meets European standards.”

FETÖ-affiliated schools

  • “We are committed to thwart the negative influence of [the FETÖ group] in the country and on its education.”
  • “We are very careful with this issue. We have all the reasons to maintain our stance in a decisive manner over the coup attempt, a serious threat we would not want to see in our country at all.”