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Interview

Albania sees 'zero' benefits from China's '17+1' but will stay: PM

Edi Rama emphasizes dialogue with all as he explores granting NATO naval base

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama after an interview with Nikkei in Tokyo on Feb. 22: He stressed it is important for all countries to talk to one another. (Photo by Yuki Kohara) 

TOKYO -- Albania's prime minister sees no economic benefits from what is left of China's "17+1" economic cooperation bloc with Eastern European nations, although he plans to remain in the grouping as a channel for dialogue with Beijing.

Speaking with Nikkei Asia in Tokyo on Wednesday, Edi Rama said the framework, which China values as a cornerstone of its Belt and Road Initiative influence, has not been beneficial. "In terms of economic impact, I would say zero," he said.

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