New appointed US Ambassador vows to encourage solution of political crisis

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times October 30, 2019 12:56

New appointed US Ambassador vows to encourage solution of political crisis

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  • She also said she would urge the country's leaders to resolve the current political stalemate in order to strengthen the prospect of opening EU membership negotiations.

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TIRANA, Oct. 30 – Yuri Kim, the new appointed US ambassador to Albania, spoke to the Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee in Washington on Tuesday afternoon in a confirmation hearing.

Kim, who was appointed by President Donald Trump in June this year, said that if confirmed she will pursue some priorities in her job as an ambassador.

She said she would encourage Albania to achieve a 2 percent level of defense spending by 2024.

She also said she would urge the country’s leaders to resolve the current political stalemate in order to strengthen the prospect of opening EU membership negotiations.

Kim added that she would also encourage Albania to fully implement justice reforms, including inspecting the image of judges and prosecutors and establishing special structures for the fight against corruption and organized crime.

She said she sees technical assistance to Albania in investigating, prosecuting and punishing transnational corruption and organized crime as a priority.

Albania, Kim said at the hearing, has a bad name for organized crime, trafficking in human beings, especially women, and narcotics across borders.

Kim said that if confirmed, she would also work to boost US exports and investments in Albania.

She said few friends have embraced America more warmly than Albanians; numerous surveys show that Albanian support for the United States remains among the highest in the world. 

Kim said the US has a strong and loyal friend in Albania and that it is imperative to keep such friends close. Few partners are more willing than Albania to cooperate more with the US. 

She said that Albanian soldiers fought side by side with US troops in Afghanistan and served in advising and training Afghan forces alongside US troops.

Albania, Kim said, has been a credible partner in the global coalition to defeat ISIS and “has shown that it does not only benefit from NATO membership, but also embraces the responsibilities stemming from being a member of the alliance.”

Responding to a question from senators about Russia’s potential influence in the region, Kim said that fortunately, Russia’s efforts in this regard have not had much effect. 

For this reason, Kim said, “it is our duty to keep friends such as Albania close at times like this.” It is important, she said, to help Albanians strengthen institutions so they are more resistant to Russia’s efforts and to China’s economic penetration.

If confirmed, Yuri Kim would be the first Korean-American woman to represent the US as an ambassador, and would also be the first person from the US territory of Guam to serve in such a post.

By constitution, ambassadors are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times October 30, 2019 12:56