Ambassador’s Statement on Peace Corp Swearing In and Concern over Political Violence, January 22, 2016

On the occasion of the swearing in of Peace Corps volunteers Friday, Ambassador Delawie was asked by Arton Mulliqi from RTK to comment on the current state of affairs in Kosovo.

Ambassador Delawie: First of all, I’d like to mention why I am here today. I am here to swear in six new Peace Corps volunteers. It is a tremendous honor for me to serve in a country with the Peace Corps, which represents a tremendous commitment of the United States to success in Kosovo.

Moving on to your question, I hope that all politicians in Kosovo have taken the opportunity over the New Year’s holidays to reflect on how they achieve their political objectives. I remain deeply concerned about the prospect of additional political violence in Kosovo, particularly the unwillingness of some politicians to rule out the use of violence as a political tool. I recognize that many people want to express their unhappiness, their disappointment with the way things are. I certainly respect the right to peaceful political protest, a right that has been in my country’s Constitution for more than 200 years. But in a democracy, differences and disagreements need to be worked out peacefully, not with things like tear gas or Molotov cocktails. I firmly believe that Kosovo has come a tremendous way in the years since independence. It has incredible potential for the future. Let’s all keep that in mind and try to make progress and not to risk throwing away some of the progress that Kosovo has already made.

You can see the interview here: