Good morning. ASP Director Veliu, Director Nano, thank you for inviting me here today to participate in the final Antiterrorism Assistance Training Course of the year.
Congratulations to all of today’s graduates! During the past year, you have deepened your knowledge of investigations and, with the assistance of the American trainers and mentors, have used real-world case studies to hone your investigative skills.
You now have a solid foundation to work with as you conduct complex counterterrorism investigations. Because of this training, and because of your commitment to it, your ability to identify, investigate, interdict, and prosecute terrorist activities is stronger today than it was before.
Each of you has a heavy responsibility to defend the citizens of this great country from terrorist actors who seek to bring harm to your homeland. The United States is committed to helping you carry out this responsibility by providing the training, mentoring, and equipment you need to do your best work.
We will always seek ways to enhance our already strong partnership with Albania on counterterrorism. This includes our commitment to support Albania’s efforts to enhance border security, improve terrorism-related investigations, and ensure effective prosecutions to help Albania address the threats posed by foreign terrorist fighters and homegrown violent extremism.
The Albanian government has already taken many positive steps to combat terrorism. For example, it has criminalized many aspects of terrorism, including training or fighting with foreign terrorist groups, terrorist financing, and inciting terrorist acts.
But there is still much work to do. Like any good doctor focused on healing her patient, to tackle the root causes of violent extremism, Albania must first cure the diseases of corruption and political disenfranchisement that have marginalized too many of its citizens. The cure may not be easy, but it is achievable, and the United States will continue to lend its support to Albania’s efforts to attain it.
In closing, I’d like to thank CT Director Nano for making his facility available for training and for allowing his personnel to attend.
On behalf of the United States Embassy, allow me to extend my appreciation for your continued support and partnership to achieve our shared goals.
We look forward to continuing the strong relationship with you and the CT Directorate.
Thank you, and congratulations again.