Albania’s defense minister in Washington urges the US to establish military bases on its territory to counter alleged Russian and other influences in the region.
Albania’s defence minister, Olta Xhacka, has offered US Defense Secretary James Mattis the option of establishing US military bases on Albanian territory, claiming that a US military presence was needed to counter alleged Russian and even Chinese and Iranian influence.
“I very kindly invite you to consider having Albania as a contact nation in the region,” Xhacka said, and added that “we have different ideas for making available our land, air and naval bases, but also our other capacities either bilateraly with US or by NATO”.
At a meeting on Tuesday in the Pentagon, the Albanian minister told Secretary Mattis that “apart from Russia’s intention to expend its influence with destabilisation actions, be that through their secret services or investments or other hybrid means or media propaganda, and scholarships, we also see an increase in intent and interest from other nations such as China or Iran”.
US Defense Secretary Mattis formally did not respond to the offer, but thanked Albania for supporting the US and NATO in its missions.