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Rudy Giuliani addresses a rally organized by the MEK in Warsaw, Poland. President Donald Trump’s attorney and former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani addresses a rally organized by the Iranian exile group Mujahedin-e Khalq, or MEK, in Warsaw, Poland, Feb. 13, 2019 (AP photo by Czarek Sokolowski).

Will the Presence of Iran’s MEK Threaten Albania’s Already Shaky Stability?

Thursday, July 18, 2019

It might have seemed like a barely consequential item amid another torrent of breaking news. But word that President Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, just attended the annual gathering of a controversial Iranian opposition group at its unlikely base in Albania should raise flags for many reasons, not least of which are concerns for Albania’s troubled and fragile democracy.

If Albania is now unexpectedly drawn into one of today’s most dangerous geopolitical conflicts—the one pitting Iran against the United States, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states—the timing couldn’t be worse. The country is in the midst of a full-blown political crisis that has at times turned violent and whose outcome is still uncertain. A member of NATO, Albania has also been trying unsuccessfully to join the European Union for years; its current domestic turmoil makes that goal even more distant. To make matters worse, Albania’s infighting has turned it into an inviting target for malicious actors seeking to take advantage of a distracted, divided nation. ...

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