Ambassador Delawie’s Statement Regarding Tear Gas in Assembly

Hi. I am here in Prizren at Dokufest. I am about to talk about corruption, which is my favorite topic to talk about in Kosovo. But, I tell you, I want to address couple of other issues, right now.

First of all, this week, it started so well for Kosovo with Majlinda Kelmendi winning the gold medal at the Olympics – what a success that was for Kosovo. But, here it is only Tuesday and we have already got some major disappointments to report. I have to say I am deeply disappointed that a member of Parliament chose to use violence in order to achieve political ends. I have to say, last week’s debate on the border demarcation agreement at the Assembly was what democracy looks like. People talking, not necessarily agreeing, but debating on important issues. Democracy does not look like tear gas, in Parliament. Political violence is an assault on Kosovo’s democracy, it is a rejection of the democratic and European values the people of Kosovo aspire to.

And, even worst now, we hear that an explosive device was planted at a public official’s house. I have to say I truly despair for Kosovo’s future if the type of political violence we’ve seen today becomes the norm. We’ve seen this story in the Balkans too many times in the last several decades. It does not end well for anyone, it’s got to stop.

Thank you very much