Press Statement by U.S. Ambassador Yuri Kim from Fier

Ambassador Yuri Kim: Hi, nice to see everybody. I was just in Vlora and now of course I’m here in Fier. It’s part of my effort to see as much of Albania as possible, especially in these important days leading up to the April 25 elections.

I think you know by now that I’m a very blunt person. So, I want to assure you if I wanted you to vote for somebody, I would just tell you, I wouldn’t give you a hint.

So, I want to repeat: the United States does not support any particular candidate or party. The only thing that we support is the right of the Albanian people to express their will through their votes. And we warn against anybody who attempts to deny that right by buying votes or selling votes.

I think it’s very important for voters to remember that they have the power and also the responsibility.

I’m inspired today because in Vlora, I met with a group of Civil Society leaders who made very clear that they understand that in a democracy civil society has a critical role. Even more inspiring, today in Fier I met with a group of young people who are first-time voters. And I was deeply impressed by how well they had informed themselves, how well they understood their rights, how well they understood the voting process.

We didn’t talk about who they would vote for, because that’s a personal matter, but we had a very good discussion on what they think about as they decide how to vote. And from this respect, I feel confident that Albanian democracy is pointed in the right direction, and I hope that young people like this will inspire everybody in Albania to practice their right, to take full advantage of their right, to vote to decide their country’s future on April 25.