Interview of Ambassador Delawie with RTK December 1, 2015

RTK: Dear viewers, good evening. Tomorrow in Pristina will come the highest U.S. official since the visit of Secretary Hillary Clinton in 2011, the Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry’s visit to Kosovo happens at a critical time for Kosovo’s institutions, but we will hear more about the details of this visit and whom he will meet during his visit from a short interview with the U.S. Ambassador to Kosovo, Mr. Greg Delawie. Mr. Ambassador, thank you very much for coming to the RTK.

Ambassador: You’re quite welcome. It’s great to be here.

RTK: Why is Secretary of State John Kerry coming to Kosovo?

Ambassador: Fundamentally, he’s coming to express support and friendship by the United States for Kosovo. I think he’ll be talking about issues that we’ve been discussing since I’ve been here the last several months, issues like rule of law, economic development, and regional security. Interestingly, Mr. Kerry is on a multi-country swing throughout Europe, but Kosovo is one of the few places he’s going to be talking about mostly bilateral issues as opposed to multilateral issues.

RTK: Who will he be meeting with?

Ambassador: The visit really consists of three parts. So, first he’ll be meeting with Prime Minister Mustafa, Deputy Prime Minister Thaçi, and Deputy Prime Minister Stojanovic, where they’ll talk about political and bilateral issues. The second part, which I’m very excited about, he’ll be meeting with about a dozen young citizens of Kosovo who have participated in American educational or exchange programs, things like the Fulbright program, the Access program, and the International Visitors Leadership Program. I’ve been saying since I was nominated for this position that it’s all about the young people of Kosovo and that’s why we need to keep working for Kosovo’s future and I’m very happy that Secretary Kerry will find some time to meet with the young citizens of Kosovo. And the third element will be a press availability.

RTK: Is he visiting Kosovo due to the current political situation?

Ambassador: No. Actually, this visit has been in progress, in the planning stages, for quite a while. As I mentioned, he’s really here to talk about economic development, regional security, rule of law. But, regarding the political situation, I think I’ve tried to make clear over the last couple of months the U.S. Government’s position on the use of violence as a political tactic in Kosovo. We oppose violence in the Assembly, we think violence has no place in a democracy.  We feel that all citizens should be subject to the same law regardless of their rank or their position. So, I think I’ve been very clear about where the U.S. Government is on the current political situation. So, Secretary Kerry will be dealing with the other issues I talked about.

RTK: What will his message be to the Government of Kosovo?

Ambassador: There will be several things I think. First of all, friendship and support of the United States for Kosovo. Secondly, I think he will talk about the dialogue with Serbia and the importance of maintaining momentum on that, since that is really the only path for Kosovo’s full integration into European institutions. He’ll be talking about progress on establishing the Special Court. He will talk about the countering violent extremism, which is a problem of the entire Balkan region. And he will probably talk about rule of law and support for Kosovo’s democratic development. Rule of law is important not just for dealing with corruption – although of course it’s very important there – but it’s a fundamental economic issue for Kosovo. Foreign investors that will be essential for the growth of Kosovo’s economy are only going to come to countries where they feel that they will get a fair shake from the courts where the rule of law applies. But, I think fundamentally, the main message that Secretary Kerry will bring is that the U.S. supports Kosovo, the U.S. supports Kosovo’s democratic development.  And that the U.S. supports Kosovo’s full integration into the rest of Europe, and these are themes that the United States has been working for the last 15-16 years or more.

RTK: Mr. Ambassador, thank you very much.

Ambassador: You’re quite welcome. Thank you very much.