Why is Tirana requesting a US Military Base in Albania? The Albanian Defence Minister, Olta Xhacka said that her country wants the United States to set up a military base in Albanian to counter Russia’s influence and possible aggression
US-Albania relations have a long history. Albanian affinity for the United States started when US President Woodrow Wilson, post World War I, halted victorious European Nations and asserted that Albania, made up of one of the oldest peoples of Europe, was a secular nation and that its borders must be protected at all costs.
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At that time, the European Powers – Britain, France and Italy – wanted to divide Albania as a reward for destroying the German/Austrian alliance. Serbia was slated to be divided amongst the Greeks and the Italians, but President Wilson stood his ground for Albania and ensured the tiny, impoverished and defenceless nation was not ripped apart.
“We believe it is the right time to establish the US Military Base in Albania. The presence of the United States or NATO Military Base in Albania would be a clear signal to the world that the region is not forgotten by its allies,” the Albanian minister said. Especially, the minister proposed the United States – Albania run base or an Adriatic Sea Naval Base under the NATO umbrella.
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“We are slightly concerned about the increased threats that Albania faces, and we think it is critical that NATO and the United States pay a little more attention to what is happening in the Balkan region.” Russia was one of the major threats specified by the Albanian minister that worries Tirana.