STATE DEPARTMENT REGULAR BRIEFING BRIEFER: GONZALO GALLEGOS, DEPARTMENT DEPUTY SPOKESMAN LOCATION: STATE DEPARTMENT BRIEFING ROOM, WASHINGTON, D.C.
TIME: 12:51 P.M. EDT DATE: THURSDAY, AUGUST 7, 2008
Q May I go to Albania?
MR. GALLEGOS: One of these days.
According to reports, charges have been filed against the mayor
of Himare of Northern Epirus, Vasil Bollano., nnd a bunch of European
organizations denounced the Albanian government of Sali Berisha for
attacking the Greek mayor for removing road signs, saying that they
should have been in Greek as well as in Albanian language.
Any comment from the human rights point of view?
MR. GALLEGOS: I'm not aware of the situation. I'll be happy to
take that question
Q And one more?
MR. GALLEGOS: Sure.
Q Thank you. Upon the completion of the recent visit in
Washington of Fatmir Sejdiu and Hashim Thaci of Kosovo, a report the
other day from Pristina is saying exactly, quote, "Kosovo is a
beachhead into the rest of Europe for radical Muslims and terrorist
elements," unquote. Are you concerned?
MR. GALLEGOS: Could you repeat the question?
Q The question is that the report is saying that Kosovo is a
beachhead into the rest of Europe and for radical Muslims and
MR. GALLEGOS: No, I think our position on Kosovo is well-known
and often repeated from the podium, remains the same.
Q Mr. Gallegos, according to press reports, four Americans of
Albanian origin from Michigan are among 12 ethnic Albanians convicted
yesterday of planning a rebellion to establish a homeland of
approximately 40,000 Albanians within the Balkan Republic of
Montenegro, in the framework of the so-called, quote-unquote, "Great
Albania" plan promoted by Shali Berisa of Tirana. Any comment?
MR. GALLEGOS: I saw reports on that. Our concern with them was
that they received a fair trial. My understanding is that we were
able to have consular visits with them. We were able to see that they
received proper trial and care. (Inaudible.)
Q Do you consider all of them terrorists, or freedom
fighters, like in the case of Hashim Thaci of Kosovo?
MR. GALLEGOS: Well, I wouldn't -- I wouldn't be able to make
Q Thank you.