Remarks by Deputy Assistant Secretary Philip Reeker To Media After Meeting with SP Chairman Edi Rama (September 9, 2012)
I want to thank Mr. Rama for seeing me on a Sunday. I am pleased that his travel plans and mine could overlap here in Tirana, before I depart for Kosovo in just a few moments.
I have been very pleased to have these late summer days visiting Albania this week, from Gorican, to Durres, to Vlore, to Elbasan. It has been a great opportunity to meet a variety of Albanian people, to hear a variety of views, and to share ideas about the way forward. I have been particularly pleased to have the opportunity to spend time with Ambassador Arvizu's team at our Embassy here in Tirana. I believe that I have had very constructive meetings here in Tirana. I have met with President Nishani, PM Berisha, FM Panariti, Prosecutor General Ms. Rama. I have met with the Defense Minister, the Interior Minister, the Economics Minister, with other representatives of the international community, and with representatives across the political spectrum.
Mr. Rama and I discussed the strong bilateral relationship between the United States and the Republic Albania. As he indicated, we discussed Albania's Euro-Atlantic integration, the progress achieved since last August, the upcoming elections – not only in my country, but also in Albania.
As I have said before, Washington will be watching developments here very closely. We hope to see continued reform progress. We hope to see next year democratic elections conducted in a responsible fashion. And always I stress the respect for the independence of democratic institutions. As you all know, as I've discussed during my time here, the next weeks are very important. They are critical in demonstrating movement on reforms, and a serious of purpose that transcends politics and reflects the best interests and the desires of the Albanian people. Parliament has in their power the opportunity to impact positively the European Union's Progress Report and we believe that finding agreement on reform of the parliamentary rules of procedure, adopting the law on the High Court, and voting on constitutional amendments on immunities are achievable and will be important steps in the right direction for Albania. So, I wish you all a good end of the summer and again, I thank all of my hosts here in Albania, and I thank Mr. Rama for seeing me today. Faleminderit shumë.