Albanian President Bujar Nishani stressed the importance of promoting cooperation with France in the field of economy and culture on Wednesday, according to government news agency ATA. Speaking during a meeting with visiting President of the French Senate, Jean-Pierre Bel, Nishani said that Albania's integration bid in Europe is a process full of challenges and that support from European partners, espescailly a country like France, is very important. Nishani thanked France for its contribution to Albania's reform, particularly in areas of judiciary, security and public administration. He also praised the country's role, and especially that of the French President Francois Hollande, in encouraging regional cooperation. Meanwhile, Bel said he came to Albania to convey a message of friendship and solidarity to the Albanian people, and to further confirm France's constant support of Albania's bid to join the EU. Albania has been rejected EU candidate status, a stepping stone before any country opens negotiations for membership, since it applied in 2009. The EU has postponed until this spring its decision about Albania's bid for member status.