The US President, George Bush, has received a warm welcome in Albania as he became the first American president to visit the country today.
Thousands of people gathered to see the president, who was greeted by banners proclaiming "proud to be partners" and a cannon salute.
Mr Bush said he wanted to encourage Albania's free society, but it also makes good political sense for him to be seen receiving a robust greeting in the predominantly Muslim country.
"I want to make sure the Albanian people understand that America knows that you exist and that you're making difficult choices to cement your free society," he said.
Albania is seeking membership of Nato and the European Union, but in the past Mr Bush has not been that upbeat about its chances.