U.S. Ambassador to Albania, Yuri Kim arrived in Tirana yesterday to take on her new job.
Ms. Kim is the third U.S. woman ambassador in Tirana, following former ambassadors Marisa Lino (1996-1999) and Marcie Berman Ries (2004-2007).
She stated the following priorities in her hearing before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
– Encourage Albania to reach its 2% [of GDP] defense investment pledge by 2024
– Promote Albania’s development as a democratic nation.
– Promote US exports and US investment in Albania.
Ms. Kim said she would focus her work in resolving the political crisis in Albania in a way that reinforces Albania’s EU accession bid, strengthening the rule of law, combating corruption and organized crime. She expressed her full support for the advancement of the justice reform.
Before landing in Albania, Ms. Kim met with Deputy Assistant Secretary and Special Representative for the Western Balkans Matthew Palmer, with whom they discussed Albania’s stance towards Iran following the killing of Qasem Soleimani, and the recent developments in Albanian politics. She also met with Democrat Congressman Eliot Engel, also Chair of the Congressional Albanian Issues Caucus.
Ambassador Kim was sworn in earlier this month, and she will take over the post left vacant by former Ambassador Donald Lu in May 2018.