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100 Years Of Albanian Independence

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton makes a speech at the Parliament in the capital Tirana, Albania.

"The United States stood with you for your first 100 years of independence, and we will stand with you for the next 100."

“I am here today at this milestone in your nation’s history with a message for all the people of Albania. The United States stood with you for your first 100 years of independence, and we will stand with you for the next 100, and the 100 after that, and the 100 after that.”

Voice: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke in Albania on the anniversary of its independence during a recent visit to the country. Painting a stark contrast between the Albania of today and Albania under communism, she said: “You cannot stop now.”

“You have the potential to become a model, not just for this region, not just for Europe, but for the world.”

Secretary Clinton encouraged the Parliament to continue the reform process and ensure that upcoming elections are free and fair and seen as such by the entire world. This would, she noted, send an important signal to the European Union that Albania is a viable candidate for the EU accession process. “Albania and the Albanian people deserve a place in the European family of nations,” she said.

Secretary Clinton also called for full government transparency and an end to corruption, asking Albanians to work together across party lines to attack this threat to prosperity and democratic institutions.

Finally, she asked Albania to build “a culture of cooperation,” transcending political differences to “put into place the building blocks of good governance”.

Acknowledging that such cooperation is difficult, Secretary Clinton said she believes Albania can meet the challenge. “Putting individual interests and party interests behind national interests is what democratic leaders are called to do,” she said:

“I look out at you and I see the future. I believe you will face the challenges and seize the opportunities of the century ahead. And I, for one, will be cheering you on and telling everyone who will listen if you want to see true democracy in action, go to Albania.”