Ambassador Delawie’s Statement at the Assembly February 19, 2016

Hello everybody. I am here to support the institutions of Kosovo. I am here to support the Assembly of Kosovo. Kosovo faces many challenges. I think we all know what many of them are – unemployment, visa liberalization, corruption, things like that – which it has to have a functioning Assembly in order to help solve. I am here to support the members of the Assembly from the vast majority of parties who are here doing the job that their voters elected them to do less than two years ago.

I continue to be impressed by people coming to work for the citizens of Kosovo under extremely difficult circumstances. These are problem solvers – I am very happy that we have so many problem solvers in Kosovo because clearly we have problem creators, as well.

I have to say, I am disappointed – well I’ll just say I am disgusted – by the leaders of the AAK, Nisma, and Vetevendosje, and their failure to show the same maturity and commitment to democracy that the citizens of Kosovo demonstrated at the demonstration that was peaceful on Wednesday. The support of these people, of these parties, for violence damages Kosovo, damages Kosovo’s future.

I also have to commend the work of the members of the Kosovo Police, who have been put in an extremely difficult position by the members of the opposition who clearly think they are above the law and refuse to respect the law and the Assembly procedures.

And finally, I have to say that 17 or 18 years ago, many citizens, many thousands of citizens of Kosovo fought and died to gain Independence for the country. They were looking for Independence, but they were also looking for the citizens of Kosovo to be able to live their lives in peace. The people who are throwing tear gas in Parliament, the members of opposition, are depriving the citizens of Kosovo of their right to live peacefully in an independent, democratic country, and I deplore that. Thank you very much.