Ambassador Q&A with BIRN after AUK TLP Certificate Ceremony, February 9, 2016

BIRN: Mr. Ambassador, please tell us how do you comment on the political situation in Kosovo?

Ambassador: Well, thank you for the question. First of all, I support the President’s initiative to resolve political deadlock via dialogue. I look forward to further engagements among party leaders. I have to say I’ve been disappointed by some of the reactions that I have heard to yesterday’s meetings. It’s important for the people to recognize that citizens employ politicians to make decisions. Some of those decisions are controversial, but using words like “treason” or “dictatorship” to characterize decisions that politicians make when they do their job really makes dialogue harder, it makes democracy more difficult, and it really makes it more difficult to the kind of effect on Kosovo’s democratic development that we all want to see.

Kosovo, at this point, I think, stands at the brink. Progress is possible but it’s not assured. There’s a lot of work that remains to be done, and a functioning Assembly will have to do that work, whether it’s a closer engagement with the European Union, whether it’s working with the United States Millennium Challenge Corporation – many other things on the agenda for the Kosovo Assembly.

I think it’d be very important for the political deadlock to be resolved. I want the Assembly to function, I want the members of the Assembly able to do the job that their employers, the citizens of Kosovo, are paying them to do, and I certainly support the efforts of President Jahjaga to use dialogue to bring the political deadlock to an end.

BIRN: What about the new President? Do you believe that the new President will be elected on time?

Ambassador: The new President – that’s up to the Assembly to decide. I understand how the laws work but it’s not my concern. Thank you very much.