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Greece, Albania sign energy agreement

September 14 , 2006 Xinhua

Greece and Albania signed an energy agreement covering electricity, oil and natural gas in Athens on Wednesday.

The agreement was signed by Greek Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas and Albanian Economy and Energy Minister Genc Ruli, in the presence of the two countries' Prime Ministers, Costas Karamanlis and Sali Berisa.

The agreement follows a friendship pact signed by the two countries in 1996 and their participation in a Southeastern Europe Energy Community (signed in October 2005 in Athens).

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Ruli earlier, Sioufas said the two countries have had systematic cooperation over the last 12 months.

"Albania was one of the first countries to ratify this pact, which started from July 1, and creates a totally new environment in southeastern Europe, with stability, more growth, and peace and, particularly in the energy sector, investments expected to exceed 21 billion euros," the Greek minister said.

Sioufas said the two countries would seek closer economic relations, a boost in investments and increasing trade transactions.

"We are the second country in investments and trade transactions with Albania and our ambition is to reach the top," the Greek minister said.

On his part, Ruli said the two governments were determined to further expand economic relations.