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Albania lbeni (helpinfo), officially the Republic of Albania (Albanian Republika e Shqipris, pronounced , or simply Shqipria, Gheg Albanian Shqipnija, Shqypnia), is a country in South Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Greece to the south-east, Montenegro to the north, Kosovo to the northeast, and Macedonia to the east. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west, and on the Ionian Sea to the southwest. It is less than 72 km (45 mi) from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto which links the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea.Albania is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Council of Europe, World Trade Organisation, and one of the founding members of the Union for the Mediterranean. Albania has been a candidate for accession to the European Union since January 2003, and it formally applied for EU membership on 28 April 2009.Albania is a parliamentary democracy and a transition economy. The Albanian capital, Tirana, is home to approximately 895,000 of the country's 3.6 million people, and it is also the financial capital of the country. Free-market reforms have opened the country to foreign investment, especially in the development of energy and transportation infrastructure.
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