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Prishtina, 19 March 2013 – The Government of Republic of Kosovo and the Council of Ministers of Republic of Albania signed today in Prishtina a Memorandum of Cooperation on the sphere of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

This Memorandum of Cooperation was signed, on behalf of the respective governments, by the Minister of Economic Development of Republic of Kosovo, Besim Beqaj, and the Minister of Innovations and Information and Communication Technology of Republic of Albania, Genc Pollo.

The objective of this Memorandum of Cooperation is the establishment of cooperation relations between parties, with the aim of coordinating efforts in national and international aspects, as well as respective technical, financial and human resources, with the final objective being technological cooperation development, and provision of solutions to overcome difficulties in ICT and stimulation of innovative activities.

After the signature ceremony, Ministers Beqaj and Pollo underlined the different activities of both governments prior to the very important act of formalizing cooperation in the sphere of information and communication technology.

“This Memorandum of Cooperation opens the doors to cross-institutional cooperation, cooperation between states and cooperation related to our international presence, and normally provides us with better coordination through our common technical teams, which will sit together and discuss on different spheres of cooperation. This is an agreement and a first step in our engagements towards common roaming arrangements, which would mean that our citizens would enjoy lower tariffs,” said Beqaj.

The Head of MED said that this represents a common international engagement in harmonization of radio frequency distribution in Kosovo – Albania cross-boundary bandwidth, common engagement in the provision of the state telephony code for Republic of Kosovo, through Albania, which is a member of the ITU.

“In relation to the state telephone code, we are focused and commonly engaged, which helps Kosovo become a factor in this mechanism. Moreover, this assists in exchanging experiences and cooperating in the sphere of information and communication technology-related legislation,” said Beqaj adding that technology does not only encompass merely physical equipment, but rather an entire engine that supports the country’s institutional and economic development.

Minister Beqaj reemphasized that Kosovo stands ready to temporarily use Albanian telephonic code, which is again subject to ITU’s approval; however, both countries remain harmoniously engaged in assisting Kosovo in the obtainment of its own state-code.

For his part, the Minister of Innovation and Information and Communication Technology of Albania, Genc Pollo, expressed his high evaluations for this Memorandum of Cooperation, as it represents one of an array of agreements that are meant to strengthen and intensify the relations between both countries.

According to him, the memorandum is very significant, bearing in mind the sphere that it regulates – information and communication technology, which is crucial for the prompt development of countries like Kosovo and Albania, which may use it to overcome obstacles and gain time in institutional, social and economic development aspects.

“We have envisaged cooperation in various areas and spheres that are tangible for internet users, telephone users, and especially mobile phone users, and we will cooperate towards an inter-state agreement on roaming, in order to provide citizens of Kosovo and Albania travelling to the European Union with lower cost of roaming for the use of their mobile phones,” he said.

Minister Pollo further said that the possibilities to resolve different issues faced by Kosovo in the process of international organization membership will be reviewed and addressed, including the obtainment of the national telephonic code for Kosovo, guaranteeing that Albania will play its role as a fully-fledged member of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and other relevant organizations, thus assisting Kosovo in overcoming this problem and adequately protecting its interests.