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Turkey's Erdogan in Albania to boost bilateral ties

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday visited Albania to talk with Prime Minister Edi Rama on strengthening bilateral ties and also inaugurate new apartments funded by Turkey for Albanians left homeless by the 2019 earthquake.

Upon landing Erdogan immediately headed to the northwestern town of Lac, 50 kilometers (30 miles) northwest of the capital Tirana, where Turkey has funded the building of a complex with 522 apartments at a cost of 42 million euros ($48 million).

An international conference less than two months after the Nov. 26, 2019, earthquake which killed 51 people and left 17,000 homeless, committed more than a billion euros to rebuild homes, businesses and public buildings destroyed in the quake. Turkey was a major donor.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama welcomes the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Tirana International Airport "Mother Teresa", Albania, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Albania to talk with Prime Minister Edi Rama on strengthening bilateral ties. Erdogan also visits a northwestern town of Lac where Turkey has funded the building of some 500 apartments destroyed by the 2019 earthquake in the tiny Western Balkan country. (AP PhotoFranc Zhurda)

Last year Turkey also built a new hospital to help Albania cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

Turkey is one of Albania’s largest investors and trading partners, contributing to infrastructure investment and development.

Turkey and Albania will sign a series of agreements in various fields, including media, law enforcement, culture, and emergency management.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, right, welcomes the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Tirana International Airport "Mother Teresa", Albania, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Albania to talk with Prime Minister Edi Rama on strengthening bilateral ties. Erdogan also visits a northwestern town of Lac where Turkey has funded the building of some 500 apartments destroyed by the 2019 earthquake in the tiny Western Balkan country. (AP PhotoFranc Zhurda)

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, right, welcomes the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Tirana International Airport "Mother Teresa", Albania, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Albania to talk with Prime Minister Edi Rama on strengthening bilateral ties. Erdogan also visits a northwestern town of Lac where Turkey has funded the building of some 500 apartments destroyed by the 2019 earthquake in the tiny Western Balkan country. (AP PhotoFranc Zhurda)

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, right, welcomes the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Tirana International Airport "Mother Teresa", Albania, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Albania to talk with Prime Minister Edi Rama on strengthening bilateral ties. Erdogan also visits a northwestern town of Lac where Turkey has funded the building of some 500 apartments destroyed by the 2019 earthquake in the tiny Western Balkan country. (AP PhotoFranc Zhurda)

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, left, and the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan review the guards of honor during a welcoming ceremony at Tirana International Airport "Mother Teresa", Albania, Monday, Jan. 17, 2022. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Albania to talk with Prime Minister Edi Rama on strengthening bilateral ties. Erdogan also visits a northwestern town of Lac where Turkey has funded the building of some 500 apartments destroyed by the 2019 earthquake in the tiny Western Balkan country. (AP PhotoFranc Zhurda)