Washington, D.C., May 8, 2007 – Albania's foreign minister, reacting to reports that ethnic Albanians were among the six men arrested on charges of plotting to attack a U.S. Army base in New Jersey, reiterated his country's support for the United States in the Global War on Terror.
"We stand by you, not only in the war abroad, but also in your efforts to confront terrorists here in the United States," the minister, Lulzim Basha, told Voice of America in a live television interview at VOA's Washington headquarters. Described by federal prosecutors as Islamic radicals, some of the men arrested yesterday in the plot to attack soldiers at Ft. Dix, New Jersey are thought to be ethnic Albanians.
Albania’s support of the Global War on Terror was part of Mr. Basha’s meeting earlier today with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. They discussed a broad range of bilateral issues, among them troop contributions in Afghanistan and Iraq and Albania’s Euro-Atlantic integration goals, including NATO membership. After the meeting, a State Department spokesman said, “We want Albania in the (NATO) Alliance when it is ready, and are helping Albania prepare for membership. We look forward to continuing our work with Albania to meet NATO’s performance-based standards as we approach NATO’s 2008 Summit meeting.”
Mr. Basha said that the upcoming trip of President Bush to Albania on June 10 is an historic visit, and a “clear sign of support” by the U.S. for Albania’s intention to join NATO as well as for its contribution to regional stability.
VOA’s Albanian Service broadcasts its television program Ditari (Journal) daily as well as daily radio transmissions and web-based news at www.VOAnews.com/Albanian.
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 115 million people. Programs are produced in 45 languages.
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