President Meta awards the Golden Eagle Medal to the head of ICITAP Albania, Mr. Charles Stephen Bennett

President Meta awards the Golden Eagle Medal to the head of ICITAP Albania, Mr. Charles Stephen Bennett

The President of the Republic, H. E. Ilir Meta awarded today the Golden Eagle Medal to the head of ICITAP Albania Program, Mr. Charles Stephen Bennett, at the presence of the United States Charge d’affaires Mrs. Leyla Moses-Ones and General Director of the Albanian State Police, Mr. Ardi Veliu.

President Meta appreciated Mr. Bennett “In recognition of the extraordinary contribution and high professionalism demonstrated in forging the cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Albania and the United States in the joint fight against organized crime, corruption, terrorism and illicit trafficking; in increasing the professional and logistic capacities of the Albanian State Police and also in urging and strengthening the collaboration among the law enforcement of Albania and those of the regional countries, serving the interest of consolidating public safety.”

In his remarks the President of the Republic noted: “I would like to welcome you all to the President’s Office on the occasion of this special and fully deserved award ceremony!

I consider it not only an official and solemn task to appreciate the Program Manager of ICITAP Albania, but availing myself of this opportunity, I would like to express the gratitude, also on behalf of the Albanian people and institutions to Mr. Charles Stephen Bennett, to this personality renowned in the law enforcement field all over the Balkans and beyond it.

Mr. Bennett has served as Program Manager for ICITAP Albania ever since 2011 and he counts upon more than four decades of law enforcement experience, being recognized as one of the foremost experts on police development and training in post-conflict and reconstruction environments.

For many years in the 1990’s and early 2000’s he has served and led overseas United States law enforcement development and training efforts in Kosova, Serbia, Northern Macedonia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Mr. Bennett in 1999 was seconded by the Justice Department to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) serving from 1999 through 2006 as director of the OSCE Department of Police Educa¬tion and Development, United Nations Mission in Kosova where he was distinguished for his professionalism and dedication.

Another remarkable contribution in Balkans was provided by Mr. Bennett in 2001 when he participated in the police development programs in the now Northern Macedonia, advising the United States and OSCE ambassadors who were serving at that time on the negotiating team, to design and implement on the ground the successful and much needed Ohrid Agree¬ment.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The list of Mr. Bennett’s professional achievements and inspiring performances goes on and on, but I cherish the honor to personally thank him for the effectiveness with which he has performed these important tasks throughout all these years, at the head of ICITAP in Albania.

Of particular importance and significance is the contribution of this honorable personality in the development of the strategic partnership, friendship and cooperation between Albanian law enforcement agencies and the United States ones.

Organized crime, terrorism and illicit trafficking has no nationality and knows no borders anymore at these time of globalization we are living in.

That’s why fighting them tirelessly and never giving up serves not only to uphold the law all over the globe, but also contributing to make the world our young generations are living in a better, more prosperous and hopeful one.

Distinguished guests,

The Golden Eagle Medal is awarded today to Mr. Bennet as an appreciation of the extraordinary contribution and his continued commitment of this esteemed professional who helped to forge the cooperation between the law enforcement agencies of the Republic of Albania and the United States.

Mr. Bennett’s contributions and commitments provided to the joint fight of our countries against organized crime, corruption, terrorism and illicit trafficking served to immensely increase the professional and logistic capacities of the Albanian State Police.

Therefore we are deeply grateful to him for urging and strengthening the collaboration among the law enforcement of Albania and those of the regional countries, serving the interest of consolidating our public safety.

Thank you very much Mr. Bennett and good luck and further successes in your future endeavors!

Alongside the Golden Eagle Medal I cherish the pleasure to hand you Mr. Bennett also my signed decree grating you Albanian citizenship.

Since double citizenship is allowed, you are not obliged to give up your American one.

May God bless the Albanian-American friendship!

We count upon your further contributions in that regard, Mr. Bennett!”