Wednesday, May 29, 2013

USA: Don't touch elections

USA: Don't touch elections
“If the June 23rd elections will be followed by violence, Albania enters on a track that goes on a clashing course with the United States”, declared Jonathan Moore after his two-day visit in Tirana. 

The Director for Central and Southeastern Europe at the US State Department, Jonathan Moore, shared the conclusions of his trip to Albania with a group of media analysts.

The meeting at the United States Embassy was not filmed, but participants were allowed to report what they discussed with Mr.Moore. Naturally, most of the analysts’ interest was concentrated on the electoral process.

“We have updated our electoral process position. I said that the process is in doubt now. I said that there is another institution, the Electoral College. Every concern for stealing votes is very serious. That’s why was undertaken an effort for a rigorous observation”, Moore declared.

When asked if the recent developments in Albania, and the fact that Prime Minister Berisha did not take in consideration the suggestions made by the US Ambassador have placed our country in a track that goes against the United States, Moore answered: “We are not on a track that goes against the United States. We will be if there will be violence after the elections”.

Another question was made regarding the modification of Moore’s declaration after his visit in April, which was distributed to the international media by Podesta Group, a company that lobbies on account of the Albanian government. This is what Mr.Moore explained:

“An e-mail was distributed with a version that was not prepared and translated accurately. After the news Podesta contacted with me personally and apologized for this, and then distributed a full version of my declaration”.

Moore answered on the controversial topic of how the Podesta Group influences the US State Department declarations on Albania. Moore reinforced the declarations of Mr.Arvizu regarding Berisha’s promise to lift the visa regime with the United States of America.

“Certainly that we welcome the Albanian citizens in the United States of America, but we stand 100% to the declarations of Mr.Arvizu. Lifting the visa regime is not something that can be done now or in a near future. It is a matter of criteria defined by the United States Congress”, Moore declared.

Top Story’s analyst and moderator on Top Channel, Sokol Balla, who was invited in this conversation with Mr.Moore, commented this meeting as “Nothing new from the American front”.

“They support the ambassador, but not his declarations”, Balla said, adding that Moore’s declarations showed Podesta’s influencing role for the changed stance on the Central Election Commission.

The only declaration for which Arvizu was supported, according to Balla, was the one about the visa regime. Balla underlines that Moore’s position was in support of Ambassador Arvizu for the United States interests, but not about his declarations that interest to the Albanians. 

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