From: Exit News
Mike Pompeo Celebrates Centenary of US-Albania Diplomatic Relations in Tirana

During a visit to Tirana on Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised the “excellent” cooperation between the US and Albania and said the two countries will strengthen their military ties in the future. 

Pompeo, who was part of President Trump’s administration during 2018-2021, attended a conference organized by the Albanian parliament in celebration of the anniversary.

He stressed that the two countries have excellent bilateral relations, citing Albania’s cooperation in the fight against global terrorism. 

This year, the US Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) decided to locate a special operations forces headquarters in Albania, which will provide increased interoperability between the partners, important access to transportation hubs in the Balkans, and greater logistical flexibility for the US military.

Pompeo said this will help Albania’s military capacities, and also help NATO carry out its objectives.

In addition, NATO is rebuilding an old aerodrome in central-south Albania into an airbase for the alliance.

Pompeo also urged Albanian politicians to focus on fighting corruption and defending democracy.

The University of Tirana, the country’s biggest university, awarded Pompeo an honorary degree in recognition of his contribution to security and stability in Europe, and for establishing strategic cooperation between the US and Albania.

The US politician met with Prime Minister Edi Rama on Monday, and will visit what the US administration considers the Iranian regime opposition group, who reside in Albania.

Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on 28 July 1922 when Albania opened its embassy in the US for the first time.