Italy's foreign minister Luigi Di Maio stressed his country's ongoing support for Albania's bid to join the European Union and stressed their countries' "excellent" bilateral ties, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
In a phone conversation with premier Edi Rama, Di Maio expressed his appreciation for the recent progress made by Albania in the reforms needed for EU membership and hoped accession talks could start "as soon as possible," the statement said.
Di Maio and Rama's talks focused on the excellent bilateral relations between Italy and Albania as demonstrated by the arrival of Albanian doctors in Italy at the height of its dramatic COVID-19 outbreak, the statement went on.
Di Maio thanked Rama "warmly" for sending medical personnel to Italy during "the most challenging months" of the COVID-19 pandemic and relaunched the fight against the virus as a new area for cooperation between Rome and Tirana, according to the statement.
Collaboration in the fight against the novel Coronavirus "further strengthens the partnership between the two countries, also concerning the economic challenges triggered by the global health emergency," the statement said.