On June 7-8, the U.S. Embassy welcomed Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Hoyt Yee, who visited Tirana as part of a regional tour. Mr. Yee met with Prime Minister Rama, Speaker of Parliament Meta, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bushati, and Democratic Party Chair Basha. In his meetings, Mr. Yee reiterated the strong friendship and strategic partnership between the United States and Albania. He expressed thanks for Albania’s important efforts as a valued NATO Ally, including its contributions in the effort to defeat ISIL. Mr. Yee underscored the importance of ensuring the June 21 municipal elections are fully free, fair, and transparent. He also stressed the need to decriminalize politics, combat corruption, and implement judiciary reform, as critical elements of Albania’s path toward EU integration. Mr. Yee also discussed economic reforms and regional energy security.