State Department warns U.S. citizens against all travel to Albania
December 24, 1998
Web posted at: 5:07 p.m. EST (2207 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. State Department issued a travel warning
Thursday telling its citizens to avoid all travel to Albania.
"The Department of State warns against all travel to Albania because the
overall security situation remains unstable. U.S. citizens are urged to
consider their personal security situations, and if appropriate, to leave
Albania," said a written statement.
"Given the possibility that the U.S. Embassy's personnel and facilities could be the target 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, and later further reduced its staff," the
Because of the reduction in staff, the U.S. embassy has suspended its normal
operations and is offering only emergency services to U.S. citizens in Albania.
Americans in Albania are being told to avoid crowds and "exercise extreme
caution at all times." Travel to the northeastern area of Albania and the area near the Kosovo border is "exceedingly dangerous," according to the State Department. "Even persons traveling to this area solely to render humanitarian
assistance to refugees have been attacked by bandits," the warning said.
"Following incidents of violence in Tirana in September 1998, in the wake
of the assassination of a political leader, the situation in Albania remains
volatile and the possibility exists that there may be further incidents of
violence," said the warning.
This warning supersedes a travel warning issued September 22, 1998 to
update the security situation.