05/31/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/31/2023 12:52
WASHINGTON, DC -U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and member of the Armed Services Committee, recently returned from a congressional delegation to Kosovo, Albania, Serbia, and Montenegro to promote democracy, stability, and cooperation in the region. Peters traveled with U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (CT), who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
"I'm proud to represent thriving Albanian and Kosovar communities in Michigan, and this trip was an important opportunity to reaffirm the United States' commitment to the Western Balkans and discuss our shared strategic goals," said Senator Peters. "The United States is committed to working with these partners to support normalized relations between Kosovo and Serbia - and lasting peace in the region. I'll continue to work on behalf of my many Albanian and Kosovar constituents to support accession to the European Union for Albania, ensure that Kosovo is well-represented in international organizations, and work towards the shared prosperity of the entire region."
The Senators met with government officials and civil society and opposition leaders in each country to discuss shared security, economic and social interests. In Albania, Peters, who is co-chair of the Senate Albanian Issues Caucus, met with President Bajram Begaj and Prime Minister Edi Rama to discuss the importance of the partnership between Albania and the United States, and to show America's strong support for Albania's accession to the European Union. Peters, who has made strengthening the United States' cybersecurity one of his priorities as Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, also discussed the recent Iranian cyberattacks with senior leaders and pledged to continue to support Albania in its efforts to prevent future attacks.
In Kosovo, Peters met with President Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, Prime Minister Albin Kurti, Minister of Defense Armend Mehaj, and Speaker of the Assembly Glauk Konjufca to discuss the need for leaders to move forward with normalization efforts with Serbia to create lasting peace in the region.
Peters also met with President Aleksandar Vučić, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and other government officials in Serbia to deliver a firm message that the nation must hold up its end of the agreement during peace negotiations with Kosovo. He also held a meeting with Albanian community members, including leaders from the Presheva Valley, in Serbia. During visits with caretaker Prime Minister Dirtan Abazovic and President Jakov Milatovic in Montenegro, the Senators stressed the importance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its role in countering Russian aggression in Ukraine.
To view or download photos from Peters' visit, click here.