U.S. Embassy Urges Peaceful Demonstrations

Tirana, January 20, 2011 NOA - The United States Embassy fully supports the right to freedom of expression and assembly for all the people of Albania.

In a democratic society like Albania, it is important that such expressions be peaceful and constructive. Respect for institutions, rule of law, and the rights of others need to be observed during all rallies and demonstrations.

In recent days the rhetoric and language of selected political leaders have assumed a tone that suggests an endorsement of disruptive and harmful acts and inappropriate conduct. This language is unacceptable.

The use of provocative rhetoric and the suggestion, or tolerance of, any form of violence is a deep disservice to the people of Albania. The Albanian people deserve better.

They have worked earnestly and patiently towards the accomplishment of urgently needed reforms and for the advancement of their country and fulfillment of their democratic aspirations.

We appreciate the professional conduct that the Albanian State Police has consistently exercised in fulfilling their responsibilities during past demonstrations.

We expect this same level of professionalism from the police to be demonstrated in the protest scheduled for Friday, January 21.