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SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, Mr. Prime Minister, thank you very much for – first of all, for being here today, but thank you much more importantly for the work that we’ve done together.  I think we’re setting a very strong example together here today, particularly on the need to make sure that when it comes to our most sensitive technology and networks we have, we’re working with trusted vendors.  That’s particularly important now and a strong message to send out, I think.  And more broadly, I’m really grateful for the work that United States and Albanian have been able to do together in so many different areas, including the Defender 21 exercises that we did so successfully.  We’re very much looking forward to you assuming you’re seen on the United Nations Security Council.  I think there’ll be a lot of good work, I think, to do together there.  And across the board, this partnership is growing stronger, growing deeper, and we very much appreciate your leadership and helping to do that.  So thank you for today. 

PRIME MINISTER RAMA:  Thank you very much.  And for me and for us in Albania, it’s a very important moment because, as I believe you know, we have undertaken these issues on our sides this – some years, asking also the other countries in the region join, and to put all together our effort for secure – for a very secure path of communication, and to put this path of communication, of very critical services in the hands of the people of Albania – in the hands of institutions of our security forces, and to not allow – and this may be a compromise by third actors and sometimes malign actors.  So it’s – as always, a pride for Albania to stand with you and to be with the United States all the way.  So thank you very much for this and I hope that together we can convince also the other friends in the region to join in this. 

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, thank you.  You’re setting a very strong example.  We’re grateful to have you as a partner now.  Thank you.



U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future