Ambassador Lu Remarks at the “New Business Models for CSO” Conference

Deputy Prime Minister Mesi, Mrs. Hoxha, ladies and gentlemen, Two years ago, I said at another Partners Albania conference: Civil society in Albania is strong and dynamic. Civil society is largely led by women and young people with energy, enthusiasm and optimism. And civil society can play an important watchdog role against corruption. When I ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Lu at the “Combat Trafficking in Persons in the Balkans” Project

Deputy Minister Mrs. Rovena Voda, Anti-Trafficking Coordinators from Montenegro and Macedonia, Terre des Hommes colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, Some of the most emotional moments I have experienced in Albania have been during my visits to the amazing NGO trafficking shelters here in Albania. I have met young girls, some just 14-years old, who have already ...
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Statement by U.S. Ambassador Donald Lu

The U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration commend the Albanian State Police, Serious Crimes Prosecutors, and Customs officials for the seizure of 614 kilos of Colombian cocaine yesterday in Durres.  This represents the largest single seizure of cocaine or heroin in several years.  It is a welcome sign that Albanian law enforcement is ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu at the Awards Ceremony for Vocational Training Graduates

Minister Ahmetaj, Minister Nikolla, Amb. Ndisi, Mr. Ilirjani, Director Micko, Ms. Laçi, dear graduates, One of my first jobs was as a baker.  It was my first year in university and I woke up every day at five in the morning and learned to bake bread, cookies, pies and cakes.  It was a great job ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Lu at the Ceremony Marking the Donation of Flood Prevention and Control Equipment

Minister Xhaçka, Director Premçi, brave men and women of the Albanian Armed Forces, Good afternoon.  I come with a simple message from your American allies — We believe in the heroism of Albanian soldiers, sailors and airmen. We have seen this heroism in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Bosnia, in Mali and in Latvia. We have ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Lu at the Beder University Religious Tolerance Discussion

Rector Gjana, Professor Hajderi, Rector Teliti, religious leaders, professors, dear students, Good morning.  I am joining you today to say bravo to you about your work on promoting religious tolerance.  So I will begin with some comments about religious tolerance in my life and here in Albania.  Then I want to talk about Holocaust Remembrance ...
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Ambassador Lu Discusses Religious Tolerance with University Students

On January 30, Ambassador Lu met with students from Bedër, Logos, Our Lady of Good Counsel, the Theological Catholic Institute in Shkoder, and the Orthodox Theological Academy in Durres for an open discussion.  He congratulated students from different religious communities and universities on their work to advance the Albanian tradition of interfaith dialogue and noted ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu at the People’s Advocate Annual Conference

Honorable Deputy Head of the Parliament Hysi, honorable Deputy Prime Minister Mesi, honorable Advocate e Popullit Balanca, diplomatic colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, Many years ago when my wife was working on her academic research on domestic violence, she taught yoga at a shelter in Central Asia for women who had been trafficked or were victims ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu at the Petroleum Sector Development Workshop

Minister Gjiknuri, Minister Ahmetaj, colleagues, My colleagues dared me to start today’s workshop with an energy joke.  Here goes: Why did the gardener plant a light bulb? He thought he would get a power plant! Albania has been pulling energy from the ground for more than 100 years.  Crude oil was first discovered at Patos ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu at the Launch of the Campaign Against Organized Crime

Minister Xhafaj, Director General Cako, ambassadorial colleagues, In America, we have an expression, if you really believe in something – if you really support it – we have an expression in English “put your money where your mouth is” or in the Albanian language “veprat flasin më shumë se fjalët.” My colleagues from ICITAP police ...
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Full Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu at the Ceremony with Land Forces Command

Minister Xhacka, General Kollcaku, General Cahani, brave members of the Albanian Forces, Albanian soldiers and sailors are true heroes.  This has never been more clear than this week when Albanian sailors on the navy ship the Oriku saved the lives of 100 Syrian refugees, including 39 children.  The Oriku has been serving in a NATO ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu at the Embassy Youth Council Anti-Corruption Event

Dear students, dear Youth Council members, good morning! I want to commend the remarkable work you have done to fight corruption in the education system.  But first, let me say two words about the current controversy surrounding former Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri. All of you are watching history being made in this country.  What you ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu at the School of Magistrates Twentieth Anniversary

Honorable former President Moisiu, Chairman Zaganjori, Minister Gjonaj, Minister Xhafaj, Mr. Sadushi, fellow ambassadors, ladies and gentlemen, Good morning! Today, I see two groups in this room. The first group is on the stage, they are some foreigners and some, with due respect, some seniors with a lot of experience in the justice system. To ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Lu at Rrëshen Youth Town Hall Meeting*

* as prepared for delivery Mr. Kola, Mr. Kacorri, Mrs. Reci, dear students, Good morning.  This is my first visit to Rrëshen and I love it here.  This is also our first of many meetings with young people in towns across Albania.  We have a message for you, but we also hope to learn something ...
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Ambassador Donald Lu Remarks at the Civic Education Project Anti-Corruption Event

Dear students and teachers, good morning. Corruption ends in a society when its people finally decide they have had enough and they take action.  Often this is led by young people. When I worked in Kyrgyzstan 14 years ago, students in schools and universities faced terrible problems with corruption.  Everyone had to pay for grades.  ...
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Ambassador Lu Honors Women of Courage Nominee Liljana Luani

On March 24th, Ambassador Lu hosted a reception to honor U.S. Embassy Tirana’s 2017 nominee for the Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award, Ms. Liljana Luani.  The Award honors women around the globe who exemplify courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress, often at great personal risk.  ...
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U.S. Embassy Funds Renovation of the Development Center 
for Persons with Disabilities in Shkodër

On March 23, U.S. Ambassador Donald Lu and Chief of U.S. Office of Defense Cooperation, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Johnston joined local authorities to inaugurate the newly renovated Development Center for Persons with Disabilities in Shkoder. This project was made possible by the Humanitarian Assistance (HA) program of the United States Department of Defense. The HA program provided approximately USD ...
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Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Donald Lu at the American Chamber of Commerce General Assembly

Minister Ekonomi, AmCham President Crawford, AmCham members, dear friends and colleagues, When I arrived two years ago, one of the first events that I participated in was the AmCham General Assembly meeting where we said farewell to Floreta Faber and welcomed Lorenc Gjoni. Times have changed.  Ministers have come and gone.  Floreta is in Washington ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu at the “Citizen Inclusiveness and Direct Democracy” Conference

Ambassador Vlahutin, Ambassador Borshardt, Ambassador Graf, Mr. Gogo, Ms. Meta, Ms. Prifti, Ladies and Gentlemen, If we, civil society, international partners, and the media, are not eagle-eyed, corrupt politicians, judges, prosecutors and criminal bosses will try to steal this election, judicial reform and everything else in this economy. These people are particularly afraid of domestic ...
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Ambassador Donald Lu at the Humanities Forum

U.S. Ambassador Donald Lu was the first guest of the Humanities Forum talk series with students and lecturers at the Faculty of History and Philology today where he discussed the new U.S. Administration and its Foreign Policy. In his remarks, the Ambassador noted that “the White House has defined the President’s foreign policy goal as ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu at the Advocate of the People Conference

Honorable Speaker Meta, Ministrja Felaj, Diplomatic colleagues, Dr. Totozani, ladies and gentlemen, Over the past five years, we have fought many battles for human rights alongside the Office of the Advocate of the People.  Most of those battles we have lost because governments from the right and the left have not listened to the Advocate ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu at the Anti-Corruption Symposium Closing

The Honorable President Bujar Nishani, ladies and gentlemen, In the three days of this conference you have heard how corruption has been  fought in Romania, Croatia and the United States.  In each of these cases, it was not fought by foreigners, but instead it was fought by courageous prosecutors, policemen, journalists and judges from those ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu at the Anti-Corruption Symposium

“Eyes to the Future: Breaking the Corruption Barrier” Anti-Corruption Symposium Tirana, Albania   The honorable Prime Minister Rama, diplomatic colleagues, judges, prosecutors, policemen, students and professors, There is a famous case of corruption in the United States that was uncovered in 2008.  It involved two judges who received bribes totaling more than $2.6 million from ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu at the Forum “I Choose to Live without Violence”

Minister Klosi, Dean Duka, Director Leskaj, Director Lurasi, Director Arqimandriti, talented video journalist Rusi, dear students and professors, Domestic violence is not something that happens to other people.  It is something that happens all around us. Take a moment now.  Look to your right, then to your left.  Around the world, at least one in ...
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Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Donald Lu at the U.S. Presidential Election Breakfast

Honorable President Nishani, members of parliament, young friends, ladies and gentlemen. Let me start this morning by offering our thoughts and our prayers for the victims of this terrible flooding that has been happening in Albania these past days. And, let me continue with a confession. I have several different versions of the speech today. ...
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Ambassador Donald Lu Live Facebook Webchat

Katerina: Hello to everyone following us live at the US Embassy Tirana Facebook page! I’m Katerina Hatija, the alumni coordinator for the State Department’s YES program, and a student of informatics. Merxhan Daci: Hello everyone! I’m Merxhan Daci, a recent journalism graduate and one of the participants of Embassy’s Investigative Journalism Lab project. Katerina: We ...
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Ambassador Donald Lu at the “Foreign Terrorist Fighters and Irregular Migration Routes” Conference

The honorable Deputy Prime Minister Peleshi, Mr. Klosi, General Lleshi,  friends from the faith community, diplomatic colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, I love that Mr. Peleshi quoted Malala Yousafzai. My daughter who is 11-years-old, this summer read Malala’s autobiography and it filled her with questions, questions about the conflicts and the world we live in. But ...
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Ambassador’s Remarks at the Marshall Center Seminar: Transnational Organized Crime

Ambassador Schütz, Ambassador Griffiths, Professor Vann, Professor Zaneli, ladies and gentlemen, When I served in Kyrgyzstan a decade ago, an organized crime boss was so bold that he set up a tent across from the gate of Parliament and threatened members of Parliament with violence unless they met his demands. In Georgia two decades ago, ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu at the “Preventing Violent Extremism and Radicalization” Conference

Chairman of the Muslim Community Brucaj, General Lleshi, Mr. Gurra, the honorable imams of Albania, I am a believer in God.  As people who believe in God, whether we are Muslims, Christians, Hindus, or Buddhists, we have a duty to stand up for justice in our communities. To me, that justice includes: Standing against domestic ...
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Statement by U.S. Ambassador Donald Lu

The passage of justice reform is above all, a victory for the Albanian people.  Your commitment has made Albania a more just and democratic country. I congratulate parliament for finding a consensus under incredibly severe pressure. The United States is proud to have supported the drafting and negotiation of this strong reform package and we ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu at the Open Government Partnership Event

Minister Harito, Mr. Hroni, ladies and gentlemen, Open Government Partnership is about making government more responsive and transparent by shining a light on corruption, fraud, and inefficiency.  But you in this room know that these important efforts are empty without independent police investigators who are not afraid to go after the bad guys. When I ...
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Ambassador Donald Lu YouTube Q&A

Glorjan Jahjaj: Hello Mister Ambassador. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to communicate with you. I had a question regarding the Albanian politics. Since you and the United States are fully aware that our politicians are so very corrupt, why don’t you intervene directly with ‎them? Thank you. Ambassador Donald Lu: Great question.  Corruption is ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu at U.S. Assistance to Flood Victims’ Event

Prime Minister Rama, Mr. Hamataj, Mr. Rapushi, ladies and gentlemen, Almost exactly one year ago, the Prime Minister asked Albania’s international partners what we might do together to support the hundreds of victims of last year’s terrible floods. I was not optimistic we could find any funds for this.  We searched through our military and ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu at the Joint Slovenia-U.S. Vocational Training Project

Minister Panariti, Minister Klosi, Ministre Nikolla, Ambassadore Stančič, Rector Harizaj, dear colleagues, When I have the opportunity to travel in Albania, I always smile when we meet a flock of sheep on the road.  It reminds me that Albania is not Tirana and that much of this beautiful country remains rural and agricultural.  I would ...
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Ambassador Donald Lu’s Remarks at the “Electoral Corruption: the Necessity for an In-depth and Inclusive Electoral Reform” Conference

(As prepared for delivery) Speaker Meta, Prime Minister Rama, Chairman Basha, ambassadors, Ladies and Gentlemen, My mother is a saint.  After raising three kids and working a full-time job, she still had time to volunteer as the head of an election precinct in California.  We Californians are big complainers.  She had to deal with angry ...
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Happy New Year from Ambassador Lu!

“On behalf of all of us who work at the United States Embassy, we wish our many friends in Albania a very happy New Year. I, personally, would like to thank the Albanian people for the warm friendship and hospitality offered to me and my family during our first year in this beautiful country. Professionally, ...
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Ambassador Donald Lu’s Facebook Chat

On December 15, Ambassador Donald Lu participated in a live webchat with Embassy Facebook fans.  The discussion was focused on anti-corruption and Ambassador Lu discussed ongoing efforts to tackle corruption and shared with fans what they can do to make a difference in Albania.
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Albania 25 years after the fall of communism: Rebuilding the state and society

Dr. Rakipi, Ambassador Vlahutin, Director Hantke, Professor Fischer, Mr. Biberaj, ladies and gentlemen, In every society there are events for which you ask, “Do you remember where you were when this happened?”  As an American, in my lifetime, these have included landing on astronauts on the moon, the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger, and ...
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Ambassador’s remarks at the Best Practices in Countering the FTF Threat

Prosecutor General Llalla, Minister Tahiri, Judge Kuntz, colleagues: I wanted to start this morning by talking about what we know about concerning the attacks in Paris and whether foreign terrorist fighters from Syria, or those inspired by ISIS, may have been involved. ISIS has publically taken responsibility for the attack that has killed 129 people ...
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Ambassador’s Remarks at the Judicial Roundtable on Prosecution

Chief Justice Zaganjori, Deputy Minister Peci, Ambassador Vlahutin, distinguished experts, Ladies and Gentlemen, Who is most afraid of judicial reform? I know who — corrupt ministers , criminal deputies, incompetent judges, and prosecutors who take your money but never prosecute anyone.  These people without face want to continue to fill their pockets with the money ...
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Ambassador’s Remarks at the Breast Cancer Walk

Minister Beqaj, Mayor Veliaj, Mrs. Godaj, courageous breast cancer survivors, ladies and gentlemen, Breast cancer has touched our family.  We have gone through the trauma of a diagnosis and the joy of a successful treatment. If I asked who amongst us has a close family member or friend touched by this disease, I am sure ...
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Ambassador’s Remarks at “Developing a Strong Energy Concept for Europe” Panel Discussion

Honorable Minister Bushati, Minister Gjiknuri, Minister Petkova, Deputy Minister Giro, Director Kopac, Ladies and Gentlemen, The United States is strongly committed to European energy security, including energy security in the Balkan region. But we are not Europeans and we are not from the Balkans.  Why should we care? It is in our strategic self-interest to ...
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TRADOC Contemporary Security Issues Course “U.S. Policy on the Western Balkans” Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu

Comandant Haxhiaj, representatives from the Albanian Government, military officers, ladies and gentlemen, The Western Balkans is a incredible place, but it remains a complete mystery to me.  Every day I spend in Tirana I realize how little I understand about Albanian society and culture.  What I know is that this is very much a region ...
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Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu at the Reception for the 15th Anniversary of the American Chamber of Commerce

Minister Ahmetaj, President Crawford, Executive Director Gjoni, AmCham members, ladies and gentlemen, Congratulations on your 15th birthday. Being a teenager is hard work.  I have one at home and another one just three years away.  You have to grapple with dating, learning to drive, acne, peer pressure to drink alcohol, the right hair style, the ...
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Judicial Reform Remarks by Ambassador Donald Lu

Mr. Prime Minister Rama, Speaker of Parliament Meta, Chief Justice Zaganjori, Ambassadors, Ladies and Gentlemen, In your justice system, some people need to be fired for corruption and some people need to be put in jail.  In a survey of judges financed by USAID, 25 percent of judges said the system was corrupt and another ...
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Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Donald Lu “24 years of U.S. – Albania Relations”

The Honorable President of the Republic Bujar Nishani, Ms. Arta Dade, Mr. Eduart Selami, Dr. Edith Harxhi, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. On this 24th anniversary of our resumption of diplomatic relations, I wanted to remember for the moment the visit of Secretary of State James Baker to Tirana 24 years ago.  Maybe some of you also remember ...
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Remarks at the Atlantic Council of Albania International Conference “General Security Situation in Europe and its Challenges”

Minister Kodheli, Former Minister Mediu, Dr. Starova, Dr. Luciolli, Ladies and Gentlemen, Like many of you, I grew up as a boy in a world obsessed with the Cold War.  In school, we practiced hiding under our desks in the event of a nuclear attack.  In Cub Scouts we wore military-style blue uniforms and learned ...
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Time to End the Shame of Modern Slavery in Albania, by Ambassador Alexander A. Arvizu

By Alexander A. Arvizu, U.S. Ambassador to Albania   Today, Albania received some good news for its efforts on rule of law and for further integration into the Euro-Atlantic community. In the U.S. State Department’s 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report, released today, Albania improved its performance, moving up to a ‘Tier 2’ ranking and off ...
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