As the bilateral ties with Albania have been growing steadily, the Turkish government expects the Balkan country to take more tangible steps against the FETO terror group, Turkiye’s president said on Monday.

“It is our sincere expectation that Albania takes more tangible, decisive and rapid steps against FETO in Albania,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a joint news conference alongside Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama in the capital Tirana.

The visiting Turkish leader said FETO poses a threat to every country where it has a presence.

“It deeply wounds us that (FETO) has still an area of activity in Albania,” he said.

Erdogan was in Albania upon invitation of Rama to attend a handover ceremony for over 500 housing units a Turkish agency built for victims of 2019 earthquake.

On the bilateral trade, the Turkish president said it reached $853 billion in 2021, up 68% compared to a year earlier, and the two countries set a new target of $1 billion trade volume. He also said that Turkiye is already standing as one of the top investors in Albania with over 600 companies employing thousands of people.

“We should continue to deepen our relations in every field with this determination,” Erdogan said.

He further stated that Turkiye is ready to maintain its support to Albania through the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), saying that the Ottoman-era Ethem Bey Mosque will be inaugurated later in the day following the restoration work of TIKA.

Responding to a question, Erdogan also stressed that Turkiye cares about the peace and tranquility in the Balkans and it is one of the guarantor countries for regional peace.

Later, Erdogan also delivered a speech in the Albanian parliament, echoing his previous remarks that Turkiye hopes Albania will take essential steps against the FETO terror group.

Drawing to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said Turkiye will always stand with Albania by sharing its domestically developed Turkovac vaccine.

Meanwhile, various agreements in different areas, including disaster and emergency management, media, state archives, culture and arts, as well as security, youth and sports, and protocol were signed between concerned organizations of Turkiye and Albania.

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