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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

FAO set to open an office in Albania

FAO Director-General and Albania’s Minister for Agriculture, Rural Development and Water Management sign agreement

1 December 2014, Rome, ItalyFAO will soon establish an office in the Republic of Albania, under the terms of an agreement signed here today.

The new Host Country Agreement was signed by FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and Edmond Panariti, Albania’s Minister for Agriculture, Rural Development and Water Management.

“This is a happy moment for Albania. Having FAO on board means a lot,” Minister Panariti said. Albania, he added, is “committed towards full membership of the European Union and FAO would be the ideal partner to coach the process for the integration of the Albanian agriculture and food system into the EU parameters.”

“This is a very positive development in our working relationship with Albania,” said Rodrigo de Lapuerta, Director ad interim of FAO’s Office for Support to Decentralization, which oversees the Organization’s network of country offices.

“Having a presence in Tirana will strengthen FAO’s capacity to support Albania in achieving its food, agriculture and natural resource management objectives,” said Vladimir Rakhmanin, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Europe and Central Asia.

Food security and safety, plant and animal pests and diseases, marine fisheries, disaster risk preparedness, and developing institutional capacity for integration in the European Union are among the priority areas where FAO will be assisting Albania. A second agreement, outlining the areas of work for 2015-16, is expected to be signed in the coming weeks.

The opening of FAO’s Albania office – to be housed on the premises of the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Water Management – is tentatively planned for the first quarter of 2015.