Remarks of Ambassador Greg Delawie After Tear Gas in Assembly, December 14, 2015

I’ve been here to support the normal functioning of the Assembly.  It’s very disappointing to see some Members of Parliament release teargas in the Assembly again.  It’s disappointing.  As most of you probably know the Assembly is supposed to pass the budget for the next year today and has a long list of other important laws that are necessary for Kosovo.

I certainly applaud the Members of Parliament, who are trying to do their best to fulfill their obligations to citizens of Kosovo by trying to convene a normal session and I hope they’ll be able to do that at some point during the course of the day.

I’d like to remind everybody that my boss, Secretary of State Kerry was here about two weeks ago, and he encouraged trying to keep violence out of the Assembly, and it’s very disappointing that people aren’t listening to him.

You know, I think, other than these machinations here, I think what people in Kosovo really care about are economic issues, like unemployment, whether they are going to find jobs… things like that.  Unfortunately, distracting the Assembly from its normal work does nothing to contribute to helping improve the economy of Kosovo.

Also, I couldn’t help but notice that there were a Member of Parliament or two in the chamber today, who are theoretically under house arrest.  It upsets me and I think it upsets a lot of people in Kosovo to see members of a political class feel they are not obligated to follow the same rules and laws that every other citizen of Kosovo is.

Finally, I’d like to say something about the increasingly nationalistic and xenophobic rhetoric that we’ve heard over the last couple of days.  I certainly think that Balkans has seen enough of that and I hope it will definitely stop.

Thank you very much. I hope you’ll have a good day.