Thursday, May 03, 2007

Bush to make historic visit to Albania -- First by a U.S. President


By Jonilda Koci for Southeast European Times in Tirana – 02/05/07

The White House confirmed last week that US President George W. Bush will visit Albania on June 10th. He also plans to visit the Czech Republic, Poland, Italy and Bulgaria, after attending the Group of Eight (G8) summit in Germany from June 6th to the 8th.

Bush plans to meet with Albanian President Alfred Moisiu and Prime Minister Sali Berisha.
According to Moisiu, the visit carries great symbolism. A superpower, he said, is building reciprocal respect and collaboration with a small country such as Albania.

"This shows proof of the great values of American democracy, which remains an inspiration," the president said April 26th during a meeting in Tirana with the former Supreme Commander of the NATO Allied Forces in Europe, General Wesley Clark.

Berisha said he considers Bush's visit as a high point in the excellent relationship between Albania and the United States. "Since Albania's independence, in the most critical moments of national liberty for Albanians, the United States has played the role of helping to save rights and freedom," he said.

He also referred to the situation in neighbouring Kosovo. "The dreams of Kosovo's Albanians for their free, democratic and independent state find understanding in the administration of President George W. Bush."

The United States has also supported Albania's NATO ambitions. Last month, Bush signed into law a bill reaffirming his country's support for the NATO accession of five countries -- Albania, Croatia, Georgia, Macedonia and Ukraine. The NATO Freedom Consolidation Act of 2007 also opens the door for the extension of new US military assistance to the countries next year.
US officials and diplomats have encouraged Albania's acceptance into NATO in 2008.

Albania, meanwhile, has contributed troops to the US-led missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since February, the country has had 120 non-combat troops, stationed at the Mosul Airport. In December 2006, Albanian Defence Minister Fatmir Mediu said Albanian troops would stay in Iraq as long as US forces remain there.

Bush will be the first US president to visit Albania. In 1999, President Bill Clinton scheduled a visit to Tirana, but it was cancelled. Two US secretaries of state have visited Albania -- James Baker in 1991 and Colin Powell in 2003.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gee, I wonder what Albanians from Montenegro will do here. This is a great opportunity for them to go to Albanian and show support for teh US government, but at the same time deliver a message to an executive branch official regarding the dire needs of Albanians in Malesi.

Who could take such an initiative??????????????????

Free Malësia said...

Come on boys and girls, let's be real here, we all (should) know why Bush is stopping in Albania, right? Please say yes!

If the Iraq war was proceeding as usual, or as he once-upon-a-time proudly exclaimed as, "Mission Accomplished" he would instead be smoking a stogie in Crawford and not be peddling through Tirana trying to drum up support for his all-but-lost war, esp. from a country that is powerless to exert any form of help, except lip service for "democracy is measured by a visit from the Bush."

The "Coalition of the Willing" (remember that phrase) is now knock, kock, knocking on Albania's door. As Shqiptare rush to open it and offer everything they have to Bush, they should think for a moment that Bush is not Clinton; he is not the same sympathiser that was prepared to go all out against the Serbs in 1999. But I should not bash "W" here, he has not done anything to thwart our efforts in Kosova, but we should still remain observant and very alert so he does not pull the wool over our eyes as he did to the Security Council in 2003.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and his visit to Albania is proof!

Anonymous said...

EXACTLY!!!!! I agree.

But what will Alfred say to that. All that Berisha, Nano, Alia and the former-communist cronies know how to say is, "Vee saport ju Mister Prezident; Albanian peepol love-it Amerika!"

Albo please!

There must have been a reason why no other US president gave a damn in the past for Albania, otherwise they woudl have at least gone there when Mother Teresa passed (just a thought).

Go A.C. MILAN!

Anonymous said...

Bush won't even mention Kosova, I guarantee you! If he were to mention support or anything else it would cause a huge stir in the Balkans.

If Bush were to say he supports teh UN and Ahtisaari's plan, then its a forgone conclusion taht the US is ready to support her.

I just hope someone from the press asks that question.

HOW ABOUT MALESIA???

YES, there should be a delegation from Tuz going to Tirana. They Must! Someone needs to schedule a meetig with Albanian authorities greeting the president and ask if they can submit a letter/msg. to the Bush.

Anonymous said...

Albanian government faces more problems

04/05/2007

TIRANA, Albania -- The government coalition led by Prime Minister Sali Berisha faced Thursday (May 3rd) two developments that may lead to no confidence votes in Parliament.

Lawmaker Gilman Bakalli resigned from the ruling Democratic Party (DP), citing the failure to improve living conditions in his town of Shkodra since Berisha's government came to power.

Subsequently, the head of the Christian Democratic Party (PDK) caucus, Nikolle Lesi, said he will oppose all laws proposed by Berisha's government because the DP has failed to respect an agreement signed with the PDK regarding the February local elections.

(Shekulli, Kohajone - 04/05/07; 24-ore, Top-Channel, Balkanweb - 03/05/07)

Anonymous said...

Enver Hoxha's cronies are at it again

Anonymous said...

Albania: Tough Security Measures for Bush Visit

16 05 2007

Tirana_ The Albanian authorities are planning major security precautions for the June 10 visit of the President of the United States George W. Bush to Tirana. Once in place, the measures should turn the Albanian capital into a high-security zone, officials said Wednesday.

Albanian prime minister Sali Berisha has created a special working group for the event, headed by Deputy Premier Gazmend Oketa. The group will be mainly tasked with the coordination of the security agencies.

The security measures that are being put in place for the arrival of the US president include a complete shut down of traffic in the capital and rooftop snipers on every major building along the route of the Bush motorcade, police said in a statement.

Details of the Bush’s visit to Albania are being coordinated by the American Secret Service, which will be present in Tirana on June 10, continued the statement.

Most residents of apartment blocks close to places Bush is expected to visit will be prohibited from appearing on their balconies.

According to the police statement, all policemen and security officials in the country will be on duty and on high alert during the visit.

Albania has been one of the strongest allies of the US in the Balkans. And though Tirana has struggled to introduce democratic reforms, Washington has supported its NATO ambitions.

Last month, President Bush signed into law the Senate bill restating his country's support for Albania’s NATO accession.

Commenting on the visit of the US president at his cabinet meeting, Berisha said, “Albanians are proud and grateful for the continuous support and assistance from the government of the United States.”

Anonymous said...

Albania: Tough Security Measures for Bush Visit

16 05 2007

Tirana_ The Albanian authorities are planning major security precautions for the June 10 visit of the President of the United States George W. Bush to Tirana. Once in place, the measures should turn the Albanian capital into a high-security zone, officials said Wednesday.

Albanian prime minister Sali Berisha has created a special working group for the event, headed by Deputy Premier Gazmend Oketa. The group will be mainly tasked with the coordination of the security agencies.

The security measures that are being put in place for the arrival of the US president include a complete shut down of traffic in the capital and rooftop snipers on every major building along the route of the Bush motorcade, police said in a statement.

Details of the Bush’s visit to Albania are being coordinated by the American Secret Service, which will be present in Tirana on June 10, continued the statement.

Most residents of apartment blocks close to places Bush is expected to visit will be prohibited from appearing on their balconies.

According to the police statement, all policemen and security officials in the country will be on duty and on high alert during the visit.

Albania has been one of the strongest allies of the US in the Balkans. And though Tirana has struggled to introduce democratic reforms, Washington has supported its NATO ambitions.

Last month, President Bush signed into law the Senate bill restating his country's support for Albania’s NATO accession.

Commenting on the visit of the US president at his cabinet meeting, Berisha said, “Albanians are proud and grateful for the continuous support and assistance from the government of the United States.”

Anonymous said...

More about Albania, you can find at Albanian Canadian League Information Service (ACLIS) www.albca.com/aclis