Albania told to fight corruption, crime more before EU talks

The European Parliament is warning Albania it must intensify its fight against corruption and organized crime before further progress can be made on its application to join the European Union.

The Parliament says Albania, a NATO member, must intensify judicial reforms that are crucial to its further progress into the 28-member bloc.

The European Union and the United States urged Albanian political parties Friday not to further delay the much required package of reforms.

A joint statement from the EU and U.S. embassy in Tirana says all political parties "bear a crucial responsibility" as political controversies delayed its passing in early spring, as pledged.

Both Washington and Brussels have been involved in drafting the package, focused in fighting corruption at all levels, especially the judiciary.