Serbia, Albania, North Macedonia pledge to open borders
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The leaders of Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania have pledged to lift barriers to free trade and travel between the three Balkan countries as they all seek entry into the...
Man sentenced for helping foreigner give to Obama committee
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A man who engineered an illegal contribution from a foreigner to a joint fundraising committee for President Barack Obama in 2012 was sentenced to four months in prison...
They said it: Leaders at the UN, in their own words
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Lots of leaders saying lots of things about lots of topics — topics that matter to them, to their regions, to the world.
Macron apologizes to Albania on wrong anthem at soccer game
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's prime minister says French President Emmanuel Macron has apologized to him after the wrong national anthem was played ahead of a European Championship qualifier...
Albanian lawmakers launch investigation to oust president
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's opposition parties resumed anti-government protests Monday after their boycott of June 30 municipal elections, which were mostly won by the governing...
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Preliminary results show that Albania's ruling Socialist Party won all but two districts in last weekend's municipal elections that were boycotted by the...
Albania president denounces municipal elections
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's president on Tuesday denounced Sunday's municipal elections as a "farce" and urged new polls to resolve the country's political crisis.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — International observers say Albania's political parties showed little regard to voters during weekend elections.
In a preliminary report on the June 30 municipal...
Albanians vote with no trouble after fears of poll clashes
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Voters cast ballots without disruption Sunday in Albania, where opposition leaders had threatened to interfere with municipal elections they boycotted as part of an...
Albania president, prime minister in conflict over elections
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's political conflict took another twist Thursday as the president announced what he said was a new date for municipal elections while the prime minister and his...
Albania’s Electoral College orders go-ahead of local polls
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's top legal election institution on Monday decided in favor of holding municipal elections this weekend, turning down a move from the country's president to cancel...
AP Interview: Albania PM says opposition ruining EU chances
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian prime minister said Friday that the opposition's main goal is to disrupt the country's efforts to launch full membership negotiations with the European...
Opposition supporters clash with police in northern Albania
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police on Thursday used tear gas to disperse hundreds of opposition supporters trying to prevent Prime Minister Edi Rama from holding an election campaign meeting...
Protests in Albania: Its democracy and EU future at stake
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's opposition parties hold their latest anti-government protest Saturday with a strong likelihood that it will turn violent, dealing another blow to the country's...
Albania opposition protests again, calls for new election
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Thousands of Albanian opposition supporters took to the streets again Sunday to demand new elections despite repeated calls from Western powers to sit down for talks. At...
Opposition calls for nationwide protests of Albanian govt
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's center-right opposition parties kept demonstrations calling for the resignation of the left-wing government going Sunday after some protesters and police clashed...
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian opposition parties have continued their weekly protests calling for the government's resignation and an early election.
Albania opposition supporters try to storm parliament
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian opposition protesters on Thursday made further attempts to enter the parliament by force as they demand the government's resignation and an early election.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Several thousand opposition protesters tried to enter Albania's parliament building Thursday calling for the government's resignation and an early election.
Albania president: Ready to resign to solve political crisis
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The Albanian president said Wednesday he would be ready to resign from his post — or even to kill himself — if it would help resolve his country's political...
Albanian anti-govt protesters try to storm parliament
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian opposition supporters clashed with police while trying to storm the parliament building Saturday to protest the government, which they accuse of being corrupt and...
US urges Albania opposition to act peacefully at rally
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The United States has warned Albania's opposition against using or inciting violence at a rally this weekend.
The center-right Democratic Party-led opposition is...
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The leaders of both Albania and North Macedonia say they believe that the European Union will decide in June to open membership talks with them.
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The Albanian soccer federation says matches may resume this week after a meeting with the government that pledged close cooperation to fight violence in...
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Thousands of protesters supporting Albania's opposition on Tuesday surrounded the parliament, demanding the government's resignation and early elections and accusing the...
EU lawmakers: Albania opposition fight damages path to bloc
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — A group of European Parliament lawmakers on Thursday strongly denounced the resignation of Albania's opposition from parliament and violence in recent protests.
Albania opposition protests against governing Socialists
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Supporters of Albania's opposition threw flares and torched a car tire outside the country's parliament Tuesday in an attempt to block ruling lawmakers entering the building...
Opposition supporters clash with police in Albania
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Thousands of Albanian opposition supporters clashed with police Saturday at an anti-government rally protesting what they claim is a corrupt and inefficient Cabinet. The protesters demanded that the government resign and an early election be held.
Lawmaker throws ink, disrupts Albania parliament session
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's parliament on Thursday suspended a session on neighbor North Macedonia's accession to NATO after an opposition lawmaker threw ink at the prime minister.
Lawmakers were to vote to ratify North Macedonia's NATO accession. But the session was disrupted when Lulzim Basha, main opposition center-right Democratic party leader, harshly criticized the leftist government for corruption.
Albania parliament backs government reshuffle
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's parliament has backed a government reshuffle in a vote called by the prime minister after the country's president refused to accept his nominee for the foreign minister.
The parliament, dominated by the governing Socialist Party of Prime Minister Edi Rama, on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly for the nomination of nine new ministers.
Albania’s PM to hold foreign minister’s post
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's prime minister says he will take over the foreign ministry himself after the country's president refused to accept his nominee for the post.
Edi Rama on Monday tweeted that he will keep the post, and also threatened to take President Ilir Meta to the Constitutional Court.
Meta did not approve Rama's nominee, saying he does not meet standards, and also has not accepted the removal of the previous minister, without explaining why.
Albania’s PM makes Cabinet reshuffle after student protest
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's prime minister has shuffled his Cabinet in response to a students' protest and complaints of corruption and inefficiency from the opposition.
Edi Rama's move on Friday replaced eight out of 15 members of the Cabinet — including the finance and foreign ministers — with other officials or lawmakers.
Rama also replaced his deputy Senida Mesi with Erjon Brace, a lawmaker.
4 media organizations ask Albania to drop online media laws
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Four international media organizations have called on the Albanian government to drop two draft laws on state regulation and compulsory registration of online media to fight fake news.
Trump thanks Albania for expelling Iranian diplomats
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump has thanked Albania for expelling the Iranian ambassador and another diplomat for allegedly engaging in illegal activities that threaten Albania's security.
Trump's letter to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, dated Dec. 14, thanked him "for your steadfast efforts to stand up to Iran and to counter its destabilizing activities and efforts to silence dissidents around the globe."
Albania opposition ends boycott, eggs prime minister
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's opposition center-right Democratic Party has returned to parliament for the first time since July — and almost immediately one of its lawmakers threw an egg at the prime minister.
Opposition lawmaker Endri Hasa on Thursday was seen throwing the egg at Edi Rama's belly while he was speaking. The leadership expelled Hasa for 10 days.
The opposition has been boycotting parliament since the summer break.
Albania expels 2 Iranian diplomats for security reasons
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania said Wednesday that it has expelled two Iranian diplomats for allegedly engaging in illegal activities that threaten the country's security.
A spokesman from the Foreign Ministry told The Associated Press that the two diplomats were expelled for "violating their diplomatic status." The spokesman said the move followed talks with other countries, including Israel.
Thousands of Albanian students step up rally against fees
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Public university students protesting the cost of tuition fees have gathered for the largest rally to date, threatening to escalate it unless their demands are met.
Thousands of students on Tuesday held posters, blew vuvuzelas and shouted "Lower the tariffs!" in front of the Education Ministry. Students from other cities and Tirana high schools joined them in a peaceful protest.
Albania: University students spurn talks with prime minister
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The prime minister of Albania has failed to convince protesting public university students to sit down to talk about their demands.
Students said on Monday their demands must be met first. Those include cutting tuition fees in half, doubling the budget for education and a greater student presence on decision-making boards.
Albanian students say no talk with PM unless demands are met
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Public university students protesting in the Albanian capital have rejected an offer from the country's prime minister to hold talks on their demands.
Thousands of students blocked a main street in front of the Education Ministry on Friday saying their demands — a halving of tuition fees, better accommodation and student involvement in decision-making bodies — are not negotiable.
Annual tuition fees for bachelor courses range from 20,000 to 45,000 leks ($180-410).
Albanian protesters clash with police, injuring 12 officers
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Several hundred Albanian protesters have scuffled with police as they tried to force their way into Parliament to protest against a government decision to demolish their buildings for a new road.
A police statement Thursday said 12 policemen and three protesters were injured.
Albania premier accuses president of violating constitution
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's prime minister on Tuesday accused the country's president of violating the constitution by refusing to appoint a new interior minister.
Edi Rama was speaking at an extraordinary parliamentary session convened to discharge the former interior minister, who resigned 10 days ago.
Albanian interior minister resigns amid anti-corruption push
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's interior minister has resigned as the Balkan nation tries to better tackle widespread corruption and drug trafficking.
Writing in his Twitter page Saturday, Prime Minister Edi Rama said he had accepted Interior Minister Fatmir Xhafaj's resignation, without giving any explanation.
Xhafaj resigned after a recent major operation that arrested more than two dozen suspects of organized crime rings, including two former lawmakers of the governing Socialist Party.
Top ex-Albanian official arrested on suspicion of corruption
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police say that a former head of the prison department has been arrested on suspicion of corruption.
Authorities announced the arrest of Arben Cuko in a statement on Sunday.
Cuko, who previously was head of the National Guard and also is an ex-lawmaker of the governing Socialist Party, was fired in September as prisons chief after little more than a year in the post.
Albania to relocate casinos, betting shops to city outskirts
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albania's government says it will relocate all casinos and betting shops out of residential areas to curb their spread, especially in the capital Tirana.
Prime Minister Edi Rama said Tuesday that by Dec. 31 all casinos, including shops taking bets on sports and animal races, will need to be closed and move to city outskirts.
City streets in Albania, one of the poorest countries in Europe, are filled with sport betting shops.
Western Balkan PMs talk on next European integration steps
DURRES, Albania (AP) — Prime ministers of the Western Balkan countries on Monday pledged at an informal meeting in Albania to speed up efforts to create a joint economic zone ahead of their integration into the European Union.
The main topic of the one-day meeting in the western port city of Durres is "regional economic integration," including discussions about developing a joint vision for aligning with the European Union, the implementation of a regional economic zone and other issues.
Western Balkans leaders meeting on EU, regional cooperation
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama's office says Albania is hosting an informal meeting of the six heads of government in the Western Balkans.
Rama's office said Sunday that the topic of Monday's meeting is "regional economic integration" and will include discussions about developing a joint vision for aligning with the European Union, the implementation of a regional economic zone and other issues.
NATO to modernize air base in Albania
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The prime minister of Albania says the NATO has decided to build an air base in the country.
Prime Minister Edi Rama on Saturday wrote in his Facebook page that NATO's North Atlantic Council, the main political decision-making body, has decided to invest 50 million euros ($58 million) "to modernize the air base in Kucove," 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of the capital Tirana. The air base has been there for decades.
Albania’s leader opens account for Swiss players’ FIFA fines
TIRANA, Albania (AP) — The prime minister of Albania opened a bank account on Tuesday to allow his country's people to offer their "symbolic contribution" to pay the fines levied against two Swiss soccer players of Albanian origin.
The account, named "Don't Be Afraid of the Eagle," was opened at Raiffeisen Bank by Prime Minister Edi Rama, who urged Albanians "to pay FIFA's absurd fine on Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri."