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State Department: Albania - Travel Warning, April 14, 1999

Albania - Travel Warning
April 14, 1999

The Department of State warns against all travel to Albania because the overall security situation in Albania remains unstable. U.S. citizens in Albania are urged to consider their personal security situation, and, if appropriate, to leave Albania.

Given the possibility that the U.S. Embassy's personnel and facilities in Tirana, Albania, could be among the targets of a terrorist attack, on August 14, 1998, the Department of State ordered the departure of Embassy personnel in non-emergency positions and families of Embassy personnel. The Embassy further reduced its staff soon thereafter. As a result of the continued reduction in staff, the Embassy has suspended normal consular operations and is able to offer only emergency services to American citizens.

Moreover, as a result of NATO military action against Serbia-Montenegro that commenced March 24, 1999, there is the possibility for acts of retaliation against American citizens and American interests worldwide.

Following violent incidents in Tirana in September 1998, in the wake of the assassination of a political leader, the situation remains volatile and the possibility exists that there may be further incidents of violence. American citizens in Albania are strongly advised to avoid crowds and demonstrations at all costs and to exercise extreme caution at all times. Northeastern Albania, including the districts of Tropoja and Has, remains outside effective government control. Travel to this area is exceedingly dangerous. Even persons traveling to this area solely to render humanitarian assistance to refugees have been attacked by bandits. Skirmishes between Serbian security forces and Kosovar-Albanian fighters in the northern border area have spilled into Albanian territory and have involved Albanian security forces, adding further danger to travel in that region.

American citizens in Albania are strongly urged to register with the Embassy located at Rruga E Elbasanit 103, Tirana, tel: (355)(42) 32875; fax: (355)(42) 32222. For further information on travel to Albania, please consult the Department of State's latest Consular Information Sheet on Albania.

This Travel Warning supersedes the December 24, 1998 Travel Warning to note the NATO military action against Serbia-Montenegro and to update the security situation.

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Thursday, 14 April 1999 - 11:23 EST