In what seems to be one of the most severe public criticism of Kosovo authorities, the United States Embassy in Pristina warned that the individuals “convicted of war crimes or under ongoing investigations for severe offences and suspected of abuse of power” should not be appointed to the Kosovo Government.
That includes the unqualified individuals at high positions, the Embassy statement said.
The Embassy called on Kosovo political leaders to take the issue “seriously” and “stop and reverse the current trend of appointing individuals whose choice seems to serve short-term political aims and not the legitimate needs of Kosovo citizens or the credibility of the state.”
The statement will probably come as a surprise to Kosovo leaders who always say that Washington is their most powerful and loyal ally.
The Embassy’s reaction came months after Pristina rejected to suspend the 100 per cent import duties on goods from Serbia and Bosnia despite repeated calls from the international community, including the US.
The rejection keeps the Belgarde – Pristina dialogue on hold since the European Union, which mediates the talks, maintains they can resume after the taxes are lifted.
“We call on the citizens of Kosovo and their leaders to think about what kind of image they want for Kosovo in the world,” the embassy statement said.
Adding that in a democracy, “the individuals appointed to the high positions should show an ethical and qualified image to the world,” the statement said that “Kosovo’s pattern of appointments, unfortunately, shows the opposite.”
“The unqualified individuals, those convicted by the judiciary or are under criminal investigations for serious offences, those who have shown the readiness to act with impunity and abuse power, have nothing to do as public servants,” the Embassy said.
It added that such appointments “undermine public trust which Kosovo is trying to build, deprive the country of competent and respectable people the most capable of performing governmental duties, and disgrace the victims of the past crimes of such (appointed) individuals.”
The Embassy’s statement goes on to say that “that will imperil Kosovo’s progress in building its international reputation which would make it a desirable partner to other countries and empower the position of those who could say that Kosovo is not committed to the rule of law.”
This post is also available in: Italiano