Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement:

“Albania has made great strides since its years under the Hoxha dictatorship, and the Albanian people have invested much to see their democracy take root. The strong and warm U.S.-Albania relationship has helped to foster these developments. I’m, therefore, very concerned by what I’m witnessing in recent days and weeks as Albanian political leaders appear to have reached a political impasse.

“In an effort to reduce the tensions and back away from confrontation, I call on all parties to exercise the utmost restraint and halt all acts of violence. This dispute can only be resolved with dialogue and according to the rule of law.

“Albania is a NATO member and deserves a European future, but repeated crises over elections undermine that road ahead. I urge the Albanian people to recommit themselves to peaceful political engagement and an electoral process worthy of a member of the North Atlantic family of democratic nations.”

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