Albania–United States relations

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Albania – United States relations
Map indicating locations of Albania and USA

Albania

United States

Albania – United States relations are the international relations between the Republic of Albania and the United States of America, first established in 1912, following its independence from the Ottoman Empire, ending in 1939 due to German and Italian occupation in the Second World War, and re-established in 1991 after the fall of communism in Europe and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Embassies and consulates[edit]

Albania maintains an embassy in the American capital of Washington, D.C., while the United States maintains an embassy in Albania's capital city Tirana.

The Albanian embassy in Washington, D.C.

Public sentiment[edit]

Pro-United States sentiment is strong and widespread among the Albanian population.[1][2]

Even while the United States, which had closed its mission to Albania in 1946, was being vilified by communist propaganda during the regime of Enver Hoxha, ordinary Albanians remembered that U.S. President Woodrow Wilson had interceded on behalf of Albanian independence from 1919 to 1920, strongly arguing against a proposed partition of Albania by the Paris Peace Conference and subsequently enabling Albania to achieve statehood and international recognition by the League of Nations.[3] Many Albanian children to this day are named Wilson in the president's honor. Albanians also credit the Clinton Administration with saving Kosovar-Albanian lives in the Kosovo war,[4] and they greatly appreciate the U.S. Government's commitment to resolving the political status of Kosovo.[5]

According to the 2012 U.S. Global Leadership Report, 80% of Albanians approve of U.S. leadership, the second-highest rating for any surveyed country in Europe after the partially recognized Kosovo.[6]

As of 2013, there were 649 international students of Albanian origin studying in the United States.[7]

Treaties[edit]

In 2003, Albania and the U.S. signed and ratified a number of agreements, including a treaty on the prevention of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the promotion of defense and military relations; the Adriatic Charter; and an agreement regarding the non-surrender of persons to the International Criminal Court. The U.S. strongly supported Albania's European Union and NATO membership goals. Working towards NATO membership, the U.S. and Albania signed a Supplementary Agreement to the Partnership for Peace Status of Forces Agreement, an important step in strengthening bilateral cooperation and enhancing security, peace, and stability in the region. In April 2008, NATO invited Albania to join the alliance,[8] and in October 2008, US President George W. Bush signed Albania NATO protocols, saying, "The people of Albania and Croatia are helping move the world closer to a great triumph of history — a Europe that is whole, a Europe that is free and a Europe that is at peace."[9] Albania joined NATO in 2009 along with Croatia, further strengthening Albanian–American relations.

Developmental aid[edit]

Since fiscal year 1991, the U.S. has provided Albania with more than $616 million in assistance,[5] not counting Foreign Agricultural Service food aid. In 2007, the U.S. gave over $21.1 million to Albania under the Support for East European Democracy Act program. Albania was among the countries selected to participate in the Threshold Program under the Millennium Challenge Account, receiving a grant of $13.8 million.[10] In September 2006, Albania began implementation of the program, which targets corruption and rule of law.

Global War on Terrorism[edit]

Albania has supported the U.S. in the global Global War on Terrorism by freezing terrorist assets, shutting down non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with possible links to terrorist financing, expelling extremists, and providing military and diplomatic support for the U.S.-led actions in Afghanistan and Iraq.[5] Albania has played a moderating role in the region and has fully supported UN mediation efforts in Kosovo. Albania also has 600 elite soldiers deployed in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force, and 240 troops as part of Multi-National Force – Iraq.

Death of Osama bin Laden[edit]

The President of the Republic, Prof. Dr. Bamir Topi, through a message conveyed to U.S. President Barack Obama, commended the elimination of Osama bin Laden, considering it as one of the greatest victories in the war against international terrorism.

Please allow me to congratulate you on the completion of the mission justice restored, with the final elimination of Osama Bin Laden by American troops, thus achieving one of the most important victories in the long and difficult war against international terrorism! As President of the Republic of Albania, on behalf of the Albanian nation, I would like to express my most sincere congratulations for the achievement of this objective that gave me joy and at the same time made me proud that my country is lined up on the side of the greatest ally and friend of Albania; the United States of America, the country that believed in the war without compromise against evil, against terrorism, by defending the holy principles of freedom and democracy all over the world, as well as ensuring the security, peace and stability in all parts of the world. Allow me, Mr. President, on behalf of the Albanian people and me personally, to express to You once more the best wishes for this great victory and at the same time to ensure you that Albania will continue to complete with devotion its engagements in the framework of NATO, by giving its own contribution in the future challenges for freedom, democracy, as well as in constructing a better world for the nations and their future

—Bamir Topi, [11]

Prime Minister Sali Berisha reacted to the Al-Qaeda leader being killed by the U.S. forces in Pakistan by noting it as a great victory of the U.S. over terrorism. Speaking to reporters, Berisha said that Bin Laden got what he deserved and emphasized that his death relieves the pain of thousands of September 11 victims. Berisha said:

Today's headline of the international news is elimination of one of the blackest figures of the history of mankind. It's the death of the man who by his primitiveness and aggressive behavior took the lives of thousands of people in New York, but even in other countries worldwide; they were innocent people, on whom this cruel man, Bin Laden, wanted to realize his medieval and the most inhuman ends. But, now he got the deserved response while hidden in his den for years. This marks a great victory of the United States of America, President Barack Obama; it's the victory of peace and all those who consider terrorism the number one enemy of peace and their freedom. This is the most consoling news for families of thousands of innocent victims of the attacks that the chief terrorist Osama Bin Laden masterminded in many countries of the world.

—Sali Berisha, [12]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania hailed the death of Osama bin Laden, saying:

On this day, the Albanian people joins the feelings and the solidarity of the peoples of the whole world, who have suffered from the unparalleled acts perpetrated by international terrorism, including the one on 11 September. As one of the first countries to join the alliance against international terrorism, Albania expresses the confidence that the unwavering stance in encountering these terrorist acts and their masterminds is the key to the success of our common struggle to uphold peace and freedom worldwide.

—Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania, [13]

Libyan civil war[edit]

Prime Minister Sali Berisha supported the 2011 military intervention in Libya the decision of the coalition to protect civilians from the Libyan regime of Gaddafi. In a press release of the Prime Ministry, Berisha noted that these operations are considered entirely legitimate, having as main objective the protection of freedoms and universal rights that Libyans deserve[14] adding that Albania is ready to help.[15]

Syrian civil war[edit]

During a 2012 meeting with the new ambassador of Qatar in Albania, Prime Minister Sali Berisha said: "The government of Albania is following with concern the events in Syria where the regime of Bashar al-Assad is using its power as a permit to kill the innocent civilians and the Syrian people."[16] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Albania on 18 February 2012 strongly condemns the violence already spread throughout Syria, as well as increasing the number of victims caused by the regime of Bashar Al Assad on the innocent population of his country.[17] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs supports the conclusions of the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the European Union, held on 27 February in Brussels, on developments in Syria, as well as the additional sanctions that the European Union has adapted against the Assad regime, sanctions that aim to paralyze the apparatus and finances of the repressive machine against the Syrian people. The Albanian Foreign Ministry expresses sympathy and support for the progressive forces, which have embraced the aspiration to transform Syria into a democratic, open and pluralistic state, which respects the rights of all communities living in this country. By coordinating its contributions to those of the international community, the Republic of Albania joins the Friends of Syria Group, believing that this is the secure way to help the Syrian people.[18]

During the meeting on 1 April 2012 Friends of Syria in Istanbul the Minister of foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania, Edmond Haxhinasto too spoke in the meeting, emphasizing that the issue of human rights is not an internal affair belonging to the states, but a responsibility of all the international community. He expressed the need to intensify the pressure against the current regime of Damascus not just politically, but also through a concentrated action of all international mechanisms. Haxhinasto stressed the position of the Albanian government to support the efforts of the U.N., the E.U., the Arab League and other international bodies in putting an end to the violence towards the civilian population from the Damascus regime, and establishing the conditions for a democratic process. He praised the Mission of the UN Special Envoy, Mr. Kofi Annan and his plan to stop the bloodshed and violence, achieve national reconciliation and establish a democratic government in Syria. In conclusion, Minister Haxhinasto underlined the support of the Albanian Government for the Syrian democratic opposition represented by the Syrian National Council, as well as its war for freedom, human dignity and progress.[19]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lucas, Peter: Why Albanians love America, Retrieved on January 14, 2009
  2. ^ Albanians love Americans - and the feeling is mutual Denver Post 2010-08-14
  3. ^ Albania's Reemergence after World War I
  4. ^ Smith, Craig S. (2007-06-09). "For One Visit, Bush Will Feel Pro-U.S. Glow". nytimes.com. Retrieved 2009-01-14. 
  5. ^ a b c "Background Note: Albania". state.gov. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-14. 
  6. ^ U.S. Global Leadership Project Report - 2012 Gallup
  7. ^ International Students: All Places of Origin Institute of International Education
  8. ^ John, Mark (2008-04-03). "NATO invites Croatia and Albania to join alliance". reuters.com. Archived from the original on 15 December 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-14. 
  9. ^ Klein, Kent: Bush Signs NATO Entry Protocols for Albania, Croatia, Retrieved on January 14, 2009
  10. ^ "Summaries of MCC Compacts in Europe, Eurasia and the Pacific". mcc.gov. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-14. [dead link]
  11. ^ President of Albania
  12. ^ Keshilli i Ministrave i Republikes se Shqiperise
  13. ^ PRESS RELEASE, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania
  14. ^ "Albania supports the attacks on Libya". Albeu Online Media. 20 March 2011. 
  15. ^ "Albania supports the attacks on Libya". March 20, 2011. 
  16. ^ PM Berisha receives new ambassador of State of Qatar Yossef Bin Hassan Bin Yousef Al Saai, Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania, 2012-02-14
  17. ^ Statement of Ministry of Foreign Affairs for approval of the Resolution for Syria in the General Assembly of U.N., Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania, 2012-02-18
  18. ^ Albania joins the International Group of “Friends of Syria”, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania, 2012-02-28
  19. ^ "Minister Haxhinasto participates in the meeting of the "Friends of the Syrian People" Group". Mfa.gov.al. 2012-04-01. Retrieved 2012-10-06. 

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State (Background Notes).

External links[edit]