The Ambassador of the United States in Albania, Yuri Kim, maintained a clear stance after meeting with the leader of the Democratic Party Lulzim Basha.
Although Ambassador Kim did not mention former prime minister Sali Berisha specifically, she said that the party’s leader must think thoroughly about the MP’s that will accompany him when the new parliament is formed in September.
Ambassador Kim emphasized that MPs walking into the new parliament must be “worthy of representing Albania”.
“It will be important in particular for the Democratic Party as well to think through these issues”, said the US Ambassador while praising the party’s contribution in breaking away from the communist regime.
However, ambassador Kim reiterated that it would be “a historic irony, but also a tragedy for this country, not just the party if the party were to eat grass for the sake of one man’s personal interest”.
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The Ambassador said that today’s meeting was in line with a previous held with the Acting Assistant Secretary of State, Philip Reeker. In addition, Kim sees the return of the Democrats in parliament as “good news”.
Yuri Kim also spoke over the final OSCE/ODIHR report on the parliamentary elections held in April stating that the United States supports the improvement of the elections and democracy in Albania.
Former candidate for DP’s leadership Fatbardh Kadilli took it to Facebook to comment on Ambassador Kim’s declaration. According to him, the matter has been dragged by the party for a long time and that it would be “unacceptable” for Lulzim Basha to proceed with actions “just to save his post or career”.
The US Department of State publicly designated former premier Sali Berisha as persona non-grata on May 19, banning him and close family members from getting a traveling visa to the US.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote on Twitter that the decision was taken over serious allegations for “corruptive affairs that undermine democracy in Albania”.
Former President of Albania Sali Berisha’s corrupt acts undermined democracy in Albania. I am publicly designating Berisha and his immediate family members as ineligible for entry into the United States. We remain #UnitedAgainstCorruption with our partners in Albania.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) May 19, 2021
Another political figure declared “non-grata” by the US is the former Socialist MP and leader of the Social-Democratic Party, Tom Doshi, a move that led him to renounce his seat in parliament amid growing pressure from the US. Initially, Doshi was asked to refrain from running for parliament, while one day after the polls, he announced that he will not take up the mandate.
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