Albania - International cooperation

Albania, a UN member since 14 December 1955, belongs to numerous specialized agencies, including ECE, FAO, IAEA, IFAD, ILO, IMO, ITU, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, and the WTO. Albania was originally also a member of the CMEA and the Warsaw Pact, but in 1968 it formally announced its withdrawal from both (it had ended participation in CMEA in 1961). In November 2002, NATO announced that Albania would have to wait until a later round of expansion to join. As of 2003, Albania had applied for membership in the EU, although it was not among the 13 candidate countries from eastern and southern Europe being considered for the next round of accession. However, in January 2003, Albania and the EU began Stabilization and Association Agreement talks, which were regarded as the possible first steps toward EU membership. Albania was the only European country that declined to participate in the Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe in 1974–75. The constitution of 1976 reasserted the principle of self-reliance. In 1986 and 1987, Albania began to abandon its strict isolationism and established contacts and diplomatic relations with numerous countries.

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