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Clinton Urges Albania To Unite Behind EU Target

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (left) waves after speaking to the Albanian parliament in Tirana, as speaker Josefina Topalli walks beside her.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called upon Albanian lawmakers to speed up progress toward European Union membership and step up efforts to enforce laws and fight corruption.

Clinton told the Albanian parliament, "You've come a long way, don't stop now," pointing out that two decades earlier the country was a bastion of hard-line communism.

She also urged Albanian lawmakers to improve the electoral system. The last two parliamentary polls ignited tensions between political factions.

In 2009, Albania joined NATO and applied for EU membership. However, its application has not moved forward, amid political infighting and lack of reforms.

Clinton was in Tirana on the last leg of a tour of the western Balkans. She has visited Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, and Croatia.

Based on reporting by dpa and Reuters