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    2013 International Religious Freedom Report for Albania

    Executive Summary -- The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom and, in practice, the government generally respected religious freedom. The government made little progress in addressing claims from religious groups for the return or restitution of property seized during the former communist era, and many of the property claims remained unresolved.

  • Ambassador Arvizu Hosts Iftar Dinner.

    Ambassador Arvizu Hosts Iftar Dinner

    On July 18th, Ambassador Alexander A. Arvizu hosted the U.S. Embassy’s Iftar dinner, in honor of Albania's Muslim community. World Bektashi Leader Baba Mondi, Chairman of the Albanian Islamic Community Skender Brucaj, Minister of Social Welfare and Youth Erion Veliaj, muftis from various cities and representatives from civil society were some of the distinguished guests of the dinner.

  • Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland With Top Channel’s Bledar Zaganjori during the interview.

    Transcript of Interview of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland With Top Channel’s Bledar Zaganjori (July 12, 2014)

    Top Channel: Madam Assistant Secretary, first of all, thank you for giving us this opportunity. A/S Nuland: It’s my pleasure, Bledar. Top Channel: You have met with all political actors in Albania and probably have heard from the government their goals on reforms and European integration and from the opposition complaints on several issues.

  • Ambassador Alexander A. Arvizu at the Independence Day Celebration

    Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Alexander A. Arvizu at the Independence Day Celebration

    Mr. President, Mr. Deputy Prime Minister, Honored Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends, Welcome to the annual celebration of American Independence, our national day. Thank you for tolerating the long lines.

  • Press Statement (June 27, 2014)

    Press Statement (June 27, 2014)

    The United States congratulates the people of Albania, and welcomes the June 27 decision by the European Council to grant European Union candidate country status to Albania. We salute the dedicated, hard work present and previous governments have invested to reach this important milestone.

  • U.S. Embassy Tirana Logo.

    2014 Trafficking in Persons Report - Albania

    ALBANIA – Tier 2. Albania is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Albanian women and child victims are primarily subjected to sex trafficking within Albania and in Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Kosovo, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

  • U.S. Ambassador to Albania Alexander Arvizu.

    Time to End the Shame of Modern Slavery in Albania By Alexander A. Arvizu, U.S. Ambassador to Albania

    Today, Albania received some good news for its efforts on rule of law and for further integration into the Euro-Atlantic community. In the U.S. State Department’s 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report, released today, Albania improved its performance, moving up to a ‘Tier 2’ ranking and off the ‘Tier 2 Watch List.’

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  • Statement by the President on the Situation in Ukraine and Gaza (July 21, 2014)

    THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. I want to make a brief statement about the tragedy in Ukraine. Before I do, though, I want to note that Secretary Kerry has departed for the Middle East. As I’ve said many times, Israel has a right to defend itself against rocket and tunnel attacks from Hamas. And as a result of its operations, Israel has already done significant damage to Hamas’s terrorist infrastructure in Gaza. I’ve also said, however, that we have serious concerns about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives. And that is why it now has to be our focus and the focus of the international community to bring about a cease-fire that ends the fighting and that can stop the deaths of innocent civilians, both in Gaza and in Israel. 

  • Statement by Jen Psaki, Spokesperson - Lack of Access at Crash Site of MH17 (July 19, 2014)

    We are deeply concerned by the Russia-backed separatists’ refusal to allow OSCE monitors safe and unfettered access to the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Yesterday, the monitors were allowed only 75 minutes at the site. Today, they were allowed less than three hours. Thus far, the separatists have only allowed monitors to have limited access to a small area. The site is not secure, and there are multiple reports of bodies being removed, parts of the plane and other debris being hauled away, and potential evidence tampered with. This is unacceptable and an affront to all those who lost loved ones and to the dignity the victims deserve. It is critical that there be a full, credible, and unimpeded international investigation as quickly as possible. Russia-backed separatists committed Thursday to allowing full access to international observers and response teams and Russia supported an OSCE statement calling for the same. We urge Russia to honor its commitments and to publicly call on the separatists to do the same.  

  • Statement By the President on Ukraine (July 18, 2014)

    THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. Yesterday, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 took off from Amsterdam and was shot down over Ukraine near the Russian border. Nearly 300 innocent lives were taken -- men, women, children, infants -- who had nothing to do with the crisis in Ukraine. Their deaths are an outrage of unspeakable proportions. We know at least one American citizen, Quinn Lucas Schansman, was killed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family for this terrible loss. Yesterday, I spoke with the leaders of Ukraine, Malaysia, and the Netherlands. I told them that our thoughts and prayers are with all the families and that the American people stand with them during this difficult time. Later today, I’ll be speaking to Prime Minister Abbott of Australia, which also suffered a terrible loss. 

  • Remarks by the President on Foreign Policy (July 16, 2014)

    THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. I want to briefly discuss the important actions we’re taking today in support of Ukraine. Before I do, I want to take a few minutes to update the American people on some pressing foreign policy challenges that I reviewed with Secretary Kerry this afternoon. First of all, I thanked Secretary Kerry and our outstanding civilian and military leaders in Afghanistan for their success in helping to break the impasse over the presidential election there. Thanks to their efforts and, of course, thanks to the Afghans and the courage of the two candidates, both of whom I spoke to last week, the candidates have agreed to abide by the results of a comprehensive and internationally supervised audit that will review all the ballots, and to form a unity government. If they keep their commitments, Afghanistan will witness the first democratic transfer of power in the history of that nation.  

  • FACT SHEET: Russia’s Continuing Support for Armed Separatists in Ukraine and Ukraine’s Efforts Toward Peace, Unity, and Stability (July 14, 2014)

    The United States’ goal throughout the crisis in Ukraine has been to support a democratic Ukraine that is stable, unified, secure both politically and economically, and able to determine its own future. Therefore, we support ongoing dialogue among the foreign ministers from Ukraine, Germany, France, and Russia to work toward a sustainable ceasefire by all parties in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine that would build toward a lasting peace. We should emphasize, however, that our ultimate goal is not just a temporary halt to violence. We want Russia to stop destabilizing Ukraine and occupying Crimea, a part of Ukraine’s territory, and allow all of the people of Ukraine to come together to make their own decisions about their country’s future through a democratic political process. 

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