Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ambassador "US position to Albania doesn't change"

Ambassador "US position to Albania doesn't change"
While the US citizens are voting for the man that will lead the most powerful country in the next four years, the US Ambassador to Tirana, Alexander Arvizu, accepted Top Channel’s invitation to the newsroom to comment the changes that Washington’s policy towards Albania and the region could have with a possible rotation.

When asked about the way through which the US Embassy staff to Albania voted for their candidate in America, Arvizu explained that he voted with a “voting ballot in absence”, a traditional procedure used in America for citizens who are abroad during the election. He also explained that many Americans had the possibility to vote even earlier, and this is a novelty that has been used recently to increase the participation of people who don’t have time to vote.

As for the safety of the voting procedure through mail and e-mail, Arvizu declared that in absence, the voter must have the signature of a relative on the ballot that will be sent to him, which on his case is the wife. As for the e-mail voting, Arvizu says that it is a rare procedure and almost unusual. This time it was allowed only for the survivors of the Sandy hurricane, who were unable to vote.

When asked what will change in the relations of America with Europe, since polls have shown that Europeans prefer Obama, and his consideration might have been considered less aggressive and less active than that of the Bush administration, Arvizu declared that he had to disagree for the “less aggressive in foreign policy” part.

Ambasadori Arvizu – I have to disagree for the “Less active” part. I think we have been very active in Europe even during this administration. I think that people do not see very clearly what we consider a security and priority issue for Asia. This is a very practical step in this situation, but we have been very clear about the fact that the focus in Asia will not be a burden for Europe, which remains a foundation stone for our policy. I doubt that there will be any significant change in the policy with Europe, despite of who might win these elections.

Top Channel – Most of the Albanians see the elections from a sportive fan point of view, based only on personal or political sympathies. If Romney will win the elections, will there be changes in the policy of Washington change for Albania, or the new administration will continue the Obama’s path?

Ambasadori Arvizu – I believe that any administration led by Washington, will not change the basic politics for Albania, as Secretary Clinton made clear last week in Tirana. The USA considers Albania a friend country and firm ally. Despite the difficult history in these last 100 years, the cooperation with Albania will continue in the future.

Top Channel – What should the Albanians learn from the US elections, based on your experience for the May 2011 elections, and since we are expecting the elections of 2013?

Ambasadori Arvizu – As for the elections of 2011, which brought an almost equal result, it’s a situation that would present challenges everywhere in the world, even in the US. We have mechanisms that in such cases allow a new voting in some centres, which costs money and energy, but the main thins is that everything must be transparent and the rules of the game should be very clear beforehand.

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