Chair of the Military Committee highlights Albania’s contributions to Alliance
From 6 to 8 to February 2023, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer visited Albania at the invitation of the Albanian Chief of Defence, Brigadier General Arben Kingji. The Chair met with the Albanian President, H.E. Bajram Begaj, the Albanian Prime Minister, Mr Edi Rama, the Albanian Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mrs Olta Xhaçka and the Albanian Defence Minister, Mr Niko Peleshi. Discussions focussed on Euro-Atlantic security and Albania’s contributions to the Alliance. Admiral Bauer also addressed the Albanian Armed Forces Defence and Security College and visited the Albanian Special Operations Regiment.<!IoRangePreExecute>
During his meeting with the Albanian President, H.E. Bajram Begaj, Admiral Bauer commended Albania for its contributions to Allied security. “Albania makes vital contributions to NATO. Not only do the Albanian Armed Forces participate in NATO’s KFOR peacekeeping mission in Kosovo and NATO’s mission in Iraq, Albania also contributes troops to the multinational battlegroups in Latvia and Bulgaria. This is an important component of NATO’s deterrence and defence posture in the eastern part of Alliance territory”, stressed Bauer.In his discussions with Minister of Defence Mr Niko Peleshi, Admiral Bauer highlighted Albania’s support to Ukraine and noted the current security environment in the Western Balkans.
On the second day of the visit, Admiral Bauer met with the Albanian Prime Minister, Mr Edi Rama and the Albanian Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mrs Olta Xhaçka. Discussions focused on the importance of cyber resilience and Albania’s engagement in the Western Balkans. The Chair underlined the positive role Albania is playing to promote peace and stability in the region. “I appreciate Albania’s commitment to promoting stability and cooperation across the Western Balkans. Albania’s contributions to NATO strengthen not only regional security but European security as well”, he added.
The Chair also visited the Special Operations Regiment in Zall-Herr, where he observed a live demonstration of the Albanian Special Operations Forces. “I was impressed by the display put on today by Albania’s most elite unite, they demonstrated clear unity of purpose, professionalism and lived up to their international reputation”, underscored Admiral Bauer to the Deputy Commander Land Forces.
On the final day of the visit, Admiral Bauer addressed members of high-level courses at the Albanian Armed Forces Defence and Security College, in Tirana. In his speech, the Admiral stressed the importance of being prepared and ready to adapt and expect the unexpected. Admiral Bauer: “Albanian troops help to keep our Alliance safe. These ‘sons and daughters of eagles’ help the Alliance soar. They are willing to put it all on the line to uphold the international rules-based order, promote democracy and create safety and stability for their country. Albania is a valued Ally. In this new era of collective defence, we are stronger together.”
Brigadier General Kingji thanked the Chair for recognising the Albanian Armed Forces contributions to Euro-Atlantic security and reaffirmed Albania’s commitment to the Alliance. “We are proud to serve today with dignity on the front lines of the Alliance. In these difficult times, when our security is threatened, we are lined up alongside our Allies from the North of Europe, to Latvia and to Bulgaria and our region, in Kosovo. Our Armed Forces will maintain a maximum commitment and dedication to accomplish with dignity every military obligation of the country toward the Alliance. We always remain reliable with our NATO Allies, and Admiral Bauer reaffirmed it. This is encouragement for us and we highly appreciate it”, said the Albanian Chief of Defence.