Acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Ambassador Philip T. Reeker underlined President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken’s determination that the fight against corruption, including through designations under 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2021, is a core national security interest for the United States.
This was announced by the US Embassy in a statement released after Reeker's visite to Tirana on Wednesday during which he met with Prime Minister Edi Rama, Democratic Party Chair Lulzim Basha, several fully-vetted members of Albania’s justice system, and other leaders.
Reeke reiterated this message after the first former President of post communist Albania, Sali Berisha and his family were declared persona non grata being not allowed to travel to the US.
Berisha, a former close ally of the US, has filed a lawsuit against State Secretary Blinken denouncing the action against him and his family.
"In all meetings, Acting Assistant Secretary Reeker emphasized the importance of U.S.-Albanian relations over the past 30 years since Albania rejected communist dictatorship in favor of democracy," said the statement.
He congratulated Albania’s leaders on their success in hosting Exercise Defender Europe 21, which highlighted Albania’s strategic role in the region. He welcomed Albania’s role in the region and on the global stage as Albania takes a seat on the UN Security Council.
The Acting Assistant Secretary reiterated the United States’ strong support for reforms within the justice system and in fighting organized crime, highlighting how progress on these issues will promote democracy, defense, and business in Albania and continue Albania’s path towards EU accession.
Reeker will continue his regional tour going to North Macedonia where the 3rd anniversary of the Prespa Agreement will be marked on July 1. / argumentum.al