Ambassador Delawie’s statement after the assembly session, November 17, 2015

KTV: Arta Avdiu (reporter):  What’s your opinion about what’s going on at the Assembly of Kosovo?

Ambassador Delawie:  Well, a couple of things. I have to wonder if the people who are doing the tear gas throwing think they are above the law. I hope not. In the United States, we believe that everybody should be equal before the law and everybody should face the same laws.

Also, my thoughts go to the members of the parliament who’ve suffered multiple tear gas attacks, to the police both inside the chamber and outside on the street, to the staff of the parliament who are facing this extremely uncomfortable and possibly dangerous situation in order to serve the people of Kosovo. Those people are heroes in my view. I think a parliament needs to be a safe place where people can debate issues, disagree about issues and ultimately find ways to serve the people of their country.

That’s certainly the type of parliament that Kosovo aspires to have and I certainly want them to have that. Another thing I wanted to say is, this violence has clearly gone too far. It’s not because I was there, it’s gone too far already. I think the choice here is pretty clear – do you want a democratic Kosovo, or not? The members of parliament, the police, the staff here – they’ve clearly made their choice. They want a democratic Kosovo.

The United States has invested for the last 16 years in helping the citizens of Kosovo create a country where they can choose their leaders based on the ballot box not based on weapons or violence. I’m going to continue my best along with the team at the American Embassy to support democracy in Kosovo, to support a normally functioning Assembly, and to support the people of Kosovo.

Thank you very much.