The United States and Albania: NATO Allies and Close Friends

Fact Sheet: State Department – Office of the Spokesperson

The United States has been a strong partner and friend to Albania since the first diplomatic relations were established in 1922 and reestablished in 1991 following the fall of communist rule. We have been proud to partner with Albania as it has made progress to reinforce democracy, open up its economy, and provide greater opportunity for all its people. Albania and the United States have signed a number of arrangements, including a treaty on the prevention of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the promotion of defense and military relations; the Adriatic Charter on Euro-Atlantic integration; an arrangement for the operation of an Afghan Special Immigrant Visa platform on Albanian soil; and a memorandum of understanding on 4G and 5G security. The United States supports Albania’s European Union membership goal, as it did for Albania’s pursuit of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States and Albania are committed to enhancing economic and commercial ties. In recent years, Albania has made great strides in promoting trade and opening a variety of sectors to foreign investment. Energy, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, travel and tourism, construction, and agriculture are leading sectors for U.S. exports and investment growth. United States investment in Albania has tripled compared to the pre-pandemic level of 2019, while trade in commodities between the two countries increased by one and a half times. Major imports from the United States include food, vehicles, and machinery, while the main exports to the United States include agricultural goods, ferroalloys, aluminum, and footwear. Albania is eligible to export certain products duty-free to the United States under the Generalized System of Preferences program. The United States and Albania have ratified a bilateral investment treaty.

U.S. Assistance to Albania

U.S. Government assistance aims to help Albania strengthen democratic institutions and rule of law; promote sustainable, broad-based economic growth; and integrate the country into European and Euro-Atlantic structures. The United States will continue to partner with Albania to counter corruption and organized crime and improve transparent, inclusive governance, critical for the country’s success in on its path toward EU integration. The United States and Albania are implementing one of our largest cyber security assistance efforts, amounting to over $50 million in support of strengthening Albania’s cyber defenses.

Albania’s Membership in International Organizations

Albania and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Albania also is an observer to the Organization of American States. As of June 2014, Albania is a candidate for accession into the European Union.

Standing Together in Support of Ukraine

The United States and Albania are working together – in coordination with other Allies and partners – to secure Ukraine’s future as a sovereign, free, and prosperous nation. We are committed to supporting the courageous and resilient people of Ukraine, helping them defend their nation from Russia’s brutal, unprovoked aggression, and deter against future attacks.

Albania regularly contributes to regional and global security. Within the Adriatic Charter, Albania has acted as a mentor to new NATO aspirants. Albania and U.S. service members have stood side by side in military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq and as part of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. We have worked together to freeze terror assets and shut down non-governmental organizations with possible links to terrorist financing. Albania contributes to operations around the globe, with troops deployed to Latvia as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) and to Kosovo as part of KFOR. Albania has committed to the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force and Enhanced Vigilance Activity. Beyond NATO, Albania sent its first-ever deployment to the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) peacekeeping mission in the Sinai and is a member of the Combined Maritime Force supporting operations in the Red Sea.

Albania also hosts persistent a U.S. military presence. In 2022, Albania welcomed a Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) headquarters, Task Group Balkans, and a U.S. Army Security Forces Assistance Brigade (SFAB) and works closely with the New Jersey National Guard on cyber defense and military training. Albania’s close relationship with both the New Jersey National Guard and SFAB helped them to successfully pass its NATO Combat Readiness Evaluation in late 2022.

Assisting our Afghan Allies in their Time of Need

With Albania’s steadfast support, the United States is making good on the commitments made to our Afghan allies. Albania’s assistance embodies its humanity and deep-rooted tradition of taking care of and giving refuge to those in need and further highlights the profound affinity between our nations.

People to People Connections

Albania and the United States share a strong connection and affinity that dates back to President Woodrow Wilson’s intervention in favor of Albania’s independence. Since the fall of communism in 1991, Americans and Albanians boosted our joint ties through exchange programs including the Fulbright, YES high school exchange, International Visitor Leadership Program, and others. There are more than 2,000 Albanian alumni of U.S. government programs. Peace Corps Volunteers serve throughout the country since 1992 and have been a vital part of people-to-people connections between our countries.