OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington on Wednesday.
Rama, who is also the country’s foreign minister, became OSCE CiO after Albania took over the organization’s chairmanship for 2020 in January. He had announced earlier that his visits first visits as OSCE CiO would include Ukraine, U.S. and Russia.
Following Wednesday’s meeting, Pompeo’s office and Rama highlighted different talking points discussed.
State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus posted a press release on Twitter about their meeting, which was focused on OSCE’s priorities for 2020, Albania’s EU integration, justice and electoral reform, NATO, Iran, regional affairs.
“Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo met today with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama in Washington. Secretary Pompeo and Prime Minister Rama discussed shared priorities during Albania’s 2020 Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The Secretary highlighted strong U.S. support for Albania’s bid to join the European Union and for on-going judicial and electoral reform efforts. The Secretary also commended the Prime Minister for his government’s steadfast commitment to NATO burden sharing, for pushing back against malign Iranian activity, and for undertaking a regional leadership role in protecting next-generation communications networks.”
Rama pointed at topics that relate the Albanian public opinion more directly, and regarding which he has faced criticism at home – post-earthquake management, laws giving him extrajudicial powers, controversial Mini-Schengen initiative by Rama-Vucic-Zaev, restart of Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, which Serbia has conditioned on the unilateral dropping of Kosovo tariffs on Serbian goods, in line with Rama’s alleged pressure on ex-Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj.
In a Facebook post shortly after the meeting, Rama wrote:
“At the office of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, [talking] on Reconstruction, Anti-KÇK [anti-mafia laws], Regional Schengen, Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, and common challenges of our strategic alliance, in which Albania remains loyally connected to the U.S.”
Rama also met with President Trump’s adviser on national security, Robert O’Brien.