CIA director visits Albania for counterterrorism talks

The United States embassy in Tirana says Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan visited Albania to discuss terrorism along with a variety of other bilateral and international issues.

An embassy statement said Brennan met with Prime Minister Edi Rama, President Bujar Nishani, Defense Minister Mimi Kodheli and intelligence officials on Wednesday to discuss "regional security, counterterrorism cooperation, intelligence sharing, and other bilateral affairs."

The U.S. and Albania have intensified their ties recently in the fight against violent extremism and to stop foreign fighters from joining Islamic rebel groups in Syria and Iraq.

Albania claims none of its citizens have extremist groups during the last year, although scores are thought to be active in the Middle East.

Albania has been a NATO member since 2009 and is seeking European Union membership.