U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, recently welcomed Albanian Foreign Minister Edmond Haxhinasto to the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. when she declared that Albania is a partner and a friend that the United States values greatly. Indeed, since diplomatic relations between the two countries were re-established on March 15th, 1991, after a break of 52 years, ties have continued to grow and prosper. Albania is now one of America’s staunchest allies, particularly in the global fight against terrorism.
The U.S.-Albanian relationship dates back to the early years of the 20th century, when President Woodrow Wilson extended American support for the young Albanian state. At the 1991 historic signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding re-establishing diplomatic relations between Albania and the United States, then Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs Raymond Seitz said: "The relationship was never forgotten by the many thousands of Americans of Albanian origin . . . who kept contact with their homeland over all these years."
The United States Embassy in Tirana was opened on October 1st, 1991. U.S. Ambassador to Albania, Alexander Arvizu, who arrived in Tirana recently, said: "I find it especially heartwarming . . . that everyone I have spoken with has said that the Albanian people have a special affinity for the United States and the American people. And, for the newly arriving American Ambassador, there could be no greater feeling than that."
Since rejoining the international community, Albania has made many valuable contributions to promote international peace and security. Secretary Clinton, in a statement congratulating the people of Albania on their Independence Day, November 28, 2010, said: "As a North Atlantic Treaty Organization [ally] . . . Albania plays a crucial and proactive role advancing regional integration and stability. The United States also honors Albania’s commitment to the International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan, and its dedication to protecting peace around the world. Our support for Albania’s entrance to the European Union remains firm. . . I look forward to continuing our partnership with Albania on issues of regional and global importance as we work together toward a democratic, secure, and prosperous future for both our people."