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2 pt1 Department of State Dispatch 210 (1991)
Re-establishment of US-Albanian Relations

handle is hein.journals/dsptch2 and id is 262 raw text is: Albania

Re-establishment of
US-Albanian Relations

Remarks by Raymond G. H. Seitz,
Assistant Secretary for European and
Canadian Affairs, and Albanian Foreign
Minister Muhamet Kapllani at the signing
ceremony of the Memorandum of
Understanding re-establishing diplomatic
relations between the United States and
Albania, Washington, DC, March 15,
1991. (For text of the memorandum, see
Dispatch Vol. 2, No. 11, p. 198)
Assistant Secretary Seitz: I welcome
you, Foreign Minister [Kapllani], to
Washington and to the Department of
State for this historic occasion. Today,
after a lapse of 52 years, the United
States and Albania are re-establishing
diplomatic relations with the hope of
building friendly and fruitful ties
between our two peoples.
The relationship between our
countries goes back to the early years
of this century, when President
[Woodrow] Wilson extended American
support for the young Albanian state.
That relationship was never forgotten
by the many thousands of Americans of
Albanian origin, some of whom are in
this room, who kept contact with their
homeland over all these years.
Despite differences in political
systems, the common interests of our
two countries have not altered since
President Wilson's time. Both of our
countries share an interest in a world in
which all states, large and small, can
live together without fear. We recog-
nize Albania's independence and
territorial integrity within its present
borders. We welcome the aspirations
of the Albanian people to join the
Helsinki process and look forward to
the day when Albania will be a full
participant in the Conference on
Security and Cooperation in Europe
(CSCE).
Today, Albania stands on the
threshold of a new future. The Alba-
nian people have made clear their
hopes for a more democratic and
prosperous country. The United States
supports and encourages the process of
political and economic reform which has
begun in Albania. This process will

mark an important step forward when
multi-party elections are held at the
end of this month. We are pleased that
Americans will be among foreign
groups who will observe them. It will
be important to the CSCE community
of nations and to the world that these
elections are both free and fair. We
understand the great social and
economic hardships now confronting
Albania. We believe that these
difficulties can be overcome if all
Albanian political parties and citizens
pursue their goals through peaceful,
democratic dialogue.
The United States hopes to enter
into a constructive and productive
relationship with Albania on the basis
of mutual interests. We intend to send
a delegation to Albania in the near
future to expand contact with the
Albanian government and people and
to begin preparations for establishing a
diplomatic mission. Along with other
countries and international organiza-
tions, the United States is prepared to
support the efforts of the Albanian
government and people to pursue
economic and political reforms. Our

ability to help will be linked to
Albania's own commitment to reform
and to its government's respect for
fundamental human rights. We will
also encourage private American
organizations and individuals to make
their own contributions to this process.
I would like to thank all of the many
people who made this day possible.
Among them are a number of distin-
guished Americans of Albanian origin
in this room today who contributed
immensely of their time and efforts to
forge a new relationship between our
two countries.
Mr. Foreign Minister, welcome
again to the United States. We now
begin to build a better future for both
of our peoples.
Foreign Minister Kapllani: It is a
great privilege and honor to have been
charged by my government to sign the
document on the re-establishment of
diplomatic relations between Albania
and the United States. We are at a
very important ceremony. I call it a
historic moment, a big day. It is a big
day, for today we are filling a gap
which has been felt for too long be-
tween us. We are creating the
favorable conditions to make up for lost
time. This is not simply a symbolic
moment of putting a signature in a
document. It is a milestone on the road
of our relations-a turning point in

Assistant Secretary Seitz (right) and Albanian Foreign Minister Kapllani sign an agreement
re-establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries after 52 years. (State Department photo)

210                                               US Department of State Dispatch                                 March 25,1991

210

US Department of State Dispatch

March 25, 1991

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