Albania is a "friendly country" with "historical and deep" ties to Italy, which will continue to back its European Union candidacy, foreign minister Antonio Tajani told lawmakers on Tuesday.
"We will keep supporting Albania in its aspirations to join the EU," Tajani told members of Italy's lower house of parliament.
Tajani was addressing a briefing for MPs on a deal signed this month allowing Italy build and run two reception camps in Albania to for migrants arriving by sea.
"The vitality of relations between Italy and Albania is based on historical and profound ties, which extend to politics, economics, culture, welfare and security," Tajani stated.
Tajani gave the example of "excellent levels" of police cooperation and "equally intense" judicial collaboration, shown by the presence of an Italian liaison magistrate at the Albanian justice ministry.
Italy is also about to sign "an important" pensions and social security agreement with Albania," Tajani added.
The migrant processing centre accord "further enriches" the friendship between Italy and Albania, which are both Nato members, he noted.