A Guide to the United States’ History of Recognition, Diplomatic, and Consular Relations, by Country, since 1776: Albania


U.S.-Albanian diplomatic relations, first established in 1922, were interrupted when Italy took control of Albania’s foreign affairs in 1939. After Italy’s defeat in World War II, an informal US mission was sent to Albania in 1945 to study the possibility of reestablishing relations with the National Liberation Front (NLF) regime; however, disagreements led the United States to withdraw the mission in November 1946. Following World War II, Albania under Communist ruler Enver Hoxha was one of the most diplomatically isolated nations in the world. After Hoxha’s death and subsequent liberal political and social reforms, Albania and the United States reestablished diplomatic relations. Albania received an invitation to join NATO in April 2008 and is expected to become a full member in 2009.

Modern Flag of Albania


Mutual Recognition, 1922.

In a July 25, 1922 telegram Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes informed the American Commissioner in Albania, Maxwell Blake, that on July 28, 1922 Blake “may extend to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania written notification of the de jure recognition of Albania by the United States.”

Diplomatic Relations

Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, 1922.

Diplomatic relations were established on December 4, 1922, when Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary Ulysses Grant-Smith presented credentials to the government of Albania in Tirana.

Diplomatic Relations Ended and American Legation Closed, 1939.

Italian forces invaded Albania in 1939 and occupied Tirana on April 8, 1939. U.S.-Albanian diplomatic relations ended on June 5, 1939, when Albanian Minister for Foreign Affairs notified the American Minister in Albania that Italy had taken control of Albania’s foreign affairs. Legation Tirana was officially closed on September 16, 1939.

Diplomatic Relations Reestablished, 1991.

The United States and Albania resumed diplomatic relations on March 15, 1991, when Albanian Foreign Minister Muhamet Kapllani and Assistant Secretary Raymond Seitz signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Washington.

Treaties and Agreements

Establishment of Most-Favored-Nation Status, 1922.

Prior to mutual official recognition, American Commissioner Maxwell Blake exchanged notes with Albanian President of the Council and Minister of Foreign Affairs Djafer Upi to ensure mutual most-favored-nation status in future commercial treaties between Albania and the United States.

Establishment of Relief Assistance, 1945.

Following the expulsion of Italian and German occupying troops by Albanian nationalist groups, the United States signed a treaty with the Albanian military authority promising relief supplies via military operation.


  • Department of State Country Fact Sheet: Albania
  • Department of State Country Information: Albania
  • CIA World Factbook: Albania
  • Library of Congress Country Study: Albania