World Bulletin / News Desk
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry paid tribute Sunday to Albania's efforts as part of the coalition fighting ISIL and said he was encouraged by the Balkan nation's attempts to fight corruption.
Kerry, visiting Tirana after attending a stormy conference in Germany where Russia and the U.S. traded accusations over Syria, said Albania had made "significant progress" in taking on its responsibilities as a NATO ally within the anti-ISIL coalition.
"Albania has been there from the beginning, willing to stand by all countries in opposition to Daesh (another name for ISIL) and it is standing up with us in support of Iraq and in support of Afghanistan," Kerry said after talks with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama.
Albania has supplied ammunition to the Kurdish peshmerga forces fighting ISIL in Iraq and Albanian forces are based in Afghanistan.
Washington also considers Albania, which is majority-Muslim, to be a key player in discouraging other countries in the Balkans from slipping into extremism.
Kerry said Albania was a country "moving in the right direction" and said he was "heartened" by the efforts to combat still-rampant corruption in a raft of new legislation and to ban criminals from holding political office.
But Kerry warned that while Tirana had Washington's support in the fight to curb corruption, "in the end only Albanians can enact the laws, the right laws".
Rama pledged that Albanian forces would stay in Afghanistan as long as necessary.
"Our troops will continue their mission in Afghanistan alongside the Americans and they will stay there with our biggest ally as long as it is considered necessary," he said at a joint press conference with Kerry.Güncelleme Tarihi: 14 Şubat 2016, 17:26