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Opinion / Editorial

Albania-USA, the cornerstone for the Albanian future

Albania-USA, the cornerstone for the Albanian future

March 15, 1991 marks 32 years since the restoration of Albanian-American relations. Since that moment, these relations have had ups and downs. They have undergone many ups and downs, which have greatly influenced the fragile Albanian democracy and the prolonged political transition. The USA is among the only countries in the world that have defended and continue to defend the Albanian issue. Here we have in mind the moment when this issue was discussed at the Peace Conference in Paris, which took place between 1919 and 1920. There, the division of our country was extremely debated by the international community. And in that conference on May 6, 1919, American President Woodrow Wilson intervened and vetoed the malicious plans of the world powers, which aimed to undermine Albania's territorial integrity. He nicely stated, pastor and clearly: "Albania must be independent". This very significant and very important and smart action by the American president caused the world powers to stop their expansionist intentions towards the Albanian territories. In this way, the US supported Albania's current borders and in December 1920, Albania was accepted as a full member of the League of Nations. Even the Council of Regency, which emerged after the Congress of Lushnja, through a statement once again emphasized the importance of the unconditional support of President Wilson, which he gave to the Albanian issue and the protection of the rights of the Albanians, and expressed the belief that the USA and the American president would continue in the future to support Albania and its future. This very significant and very important and smart action by the American president caused the world powers to stop their expansionist intentions towards the Albanian territories. In this way, the US supported Albania's current borders and in December 1920, Albania was accepted as a full member of the League of Nations. Even the Council of Regency, which emerged after the Congress of Lushnja, through a statement once again emphasized the importance of the unconditional support of President Wilson, which he gave to the Albanian issue and the protection of the rights of the Albanians, and expressed the belief that the USA and the American president would continue in the future to support Albania and its future. This very significant and very important and smart action by the American president caused the world powers to stop their expansionist intentions towards the Albanian territories. In this way, the US supported Albania's current borders and in December 1920, Albania was accepted as a full member of the League of Nations. Even the Council of Regency, which emerged after the Congress of Lushnja, through a statement once again emphasized the importance of the unconditional support of President Wilson, which he gave to the Albanian issue and the protection of the rights of the Albanians, and expressed the belief that the USA and the American president would continue in the future to support Albania and its future. for the world powers to stop their expansionist intentions towards the Albanian territories. In this way, the US supported Albania's current borders and in December 1920, Albania was accepted as a full member of the League of Nations. Even the Council of Regency, which emerged after the Congress of Lushnja, through a statement once again emphasized the importance of the unconditional support of President Wilson, which he gave to the Albanian issue and the protection of the rights of the Albanians, and expressed the belief that the USA and the American president would continue in the future to support Albania and its future. for the world powers to stop their expansionist intentions towards the Albanian territories. In this way, the US supported Albania's current borders and in December 1920, Albania was accepted as a full member of the League of Nations. Even the Council of Regency, which emerged after the Congress of Lushnja, through a statement once again emphasized the importance of the unconditional support of President Wilson, which he gave to the Albanian issue and the protection of the rights of the Albanians, and expressed the belief that the USA and the American president would continue in the future to support Albania and its future.

The decision of the Conference of Ambassadors dated November 9, 1921 renewed the legal status of the Albanian state, as an independent and sovereign state, and once again renewed the political borders of Albania defined in the Conference of Ambassadors of 1913. This enabled the recognition of the new Albanian government by some of the Great Powers. On the other hand, the Albanian government also demanded the recognition of the American government. For this, on November 17, 1921, the Commissioner (non-official representative) of the Albanian government in Washington, Konstantin Çekrezi, submitted the request for recognition to the Department of State. The request was repeated once again by the Albanian government on June 7, 1922. The US government sent its non-official representative Maxwell Black to Albania with a mission of preliminary investigation into the political situation in Albania. Black held several meetings with representatives of the Albanian government and followed the political developments in the country. In the positive wake of American support and backing, on July 28, 1922, Black delivered to Xhafer Ypi, in the capacity of Prime Minister of the country and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the note of recognition of the Albanian government by the USA, which meant the official establishment of relations bilateral diplomatic. This was a good omen for the future of our country. Until the establishment of regular diplomatic relations, Black represented the USA as its Commissioner in the rank of Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Minister of the USA in Albania. The first American ambassador in our country, who represented our country in the American arena, was Ulysses Grant Smith, who started the diplomatic mission on December 4, 1922. Something very positive and very important going forward. In this form, Albania became a very favorite country for America and the Americans. The opening of the American embassy in our country awakened their interest in what Albania was, who the Albanians were and how much help America could give to our country. Ambassador Smith laid the foundation stone for real bilateral relations between the two countries. Smith even wrote in his memoirs about Albania and the Albanians: "This country is very poor, the people in general are uneducated and undernourished, but strangely in front of me is Prime Minister Fan Noli, who speaks a much better Harvard English from me. And I feel bad in front of him." For its part, Albania appointed Faik Konica as Minister Plenipotentiary of the Albanian government in the United States. For a decade between 1920 and 1930, our country and the USA had a high intensity in bilateral relations. During this period, several agreements were signed between the two countries, where we can single out some of them as; treaty on the recognition of American passports of American citizens of Albanian origin, treaty on the abolition of the visa tax for Albanian and American passports of non-immigrant persons, arbitration treaty, treaty of friendship for general peace, neutrality treaty, extradition treaty of delinquent persons come on A very high American interest in our country. In this period, with American support, the foundations of the first two technical and professional schools in Albania were laid: the Harry Fultz Institute in Tirana in 1921 with the financial support of the American Red Cross and " Even after the liberation of Albania from the Nazi-fascists. A joint American-British team coordinated civilian aid in liberated Albania. Enver Hoxha even requested that an Albanian military representative be sent to Washington to coordinate military cooperation between the United States and Albania. He also wanted to send a personal representative to coordinate humanitarian aid from the US. After the liberation of Albania, American-Albanian relations took a downward turn, because Enver Hoxha insisted on the fact, to judge the members of the National Front and Legality as war criminals. The United States considered the situation unacceptable and wanted a withdrawal of the mission, which was done on November 2, 1946. In those moments these relations were interrupted and since that moment they have been extremely tense and have always had strong friction. It took democratic changes in the country, which brought and opened new perspectives in the relations between the two states. The visit of American Secretary of State James A. Baker in 1991 showed that the USA had not forgotten Albania, turned the American compass and attention back to our country and the Albanians, and warmed Albanian-American relations. A number of agreements were signed and ratified between the two countries in 2003, including a treaty to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and an agreement not to surrender persons to the International Criminal Court. On May 2, it was signed between Albania, the USA and two Balkan countries, Croatia and Macedonia Adriatic Charter (A-3), which further promoted and strengthened regional cooperation and multilateral security, but also increased interaction and absorption of standards, which were achieved through joint exercises and cooperation activities of the respective units . The US strongly supported Albania's EU and NATO membership goals. With a view to NATO membership, the US and Albania signed an addendum to the Partnership Status Agreement for Peacekeeping Forces, an important step in strengthening bilateral cooperation and increasing security, peace and stability in the region. President George W. Bush visited Albania on June 10, 2007 as part of his European tour, becoming the first US president to visit our country. In April 2008, Albania was invited to join the North Atlantic Alliance - NATO. Albania joined NATO in 2009 together with Croatia, which further strengthened Albania-US bilateral relations. In these years, we have an increase and a great growth of the American influence in Albania. Here we take into account the fact that the USA is one of the most important promoters of Justice Reform, for the rule of law in the country, for the uncompromising fight against corruption at all levels. All American officials, who have visited our country in these years, have openly expressed the opinion that Albanian-American cooperation will strengthen freedoms, democracy and prosperity in our country. They have also pointed out our approach as the most pro-American people in Europe and Albania as the most loyal ally in NATO and as a stabilizing and very important factor in solving issues in the region and beyond. This is proven by the fact that our country has joined the alliance of states supporting and supporting Ukraine's just war against Putinist Russia. But we have a strange handicap that will always haunt us: We are the most pro-American people in Europe and we want to join the European Union. Undoubtedly, the following decades will bring unpleasant situations, but they will never shake the strong foundations of our bilateral relations. There may also be small frictions, but they will be insignificant. Therefore in my view,