Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the top Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, released the following statement on the recent elections in Albania.

The statement follows:

With its successful elections, Albania has demonstrated once again that it is a flourishing democracy. I congratulate Edi Rama and the socialist coalition on their victory and look forward to working with the incoming government. Albania's political leaders and people, future cabinet ministers and opposition members from across the political spectrum should know that the U.S. Congress stands shoulder to shoulder with Albania. You have sent a clear message to the European Union that you are ready for candidate status; your march towards EU membership continues.

I would also like to thank Prime Minister Sali Berisha for his service to his nation. Albania made great strides forward during his tenure, including joining NATO, and I wish him the best for the future.

As co-chair of the Albanian Issues Caucus, Albanians can count on my continued support on their historic journey; few countries in the world have moved so quickly as Albania from the indignity of a totalitarian system to the dignity and promise of a maturing democracy. All Albanians have much to be proud of today.