Albania vows new EU drive after local polls

TIRANA - Albania pledged to build a political consensus behind the reforms it needs to win European Union candidate status following last weekend's mayoral elections.
EU officials had said the polls had to be "free and fair" if Albania, a NATO member, wanted to be considered for candidate status later this year and urged the main parties to start talking to each other to push forward EU-oriented reforms.
"I'm deeply convinced that after these elections there will be a wave of reflection among political elites in the country that will lead us to satisfying all the criteria (set by the EU)," Foreign Minister Edmond Haxhinasto told reporters.
"We plan to launch a nationwide action aimed at political reconciliation to build political agreement," he said after talks with Poland's foreign minister. He did not elaborate.
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