Pristina welcomes Joe Biden; Kosovo’s leadership must fight corruption

By Dr. Lisen Bashkurti

The US Vice President Joe Biden is the last high ranking official from the Obama White House to conduct an official visit to Kosovo.  After a few months there will be further changes in the Presidency of the United States.

The first message:

Despite the expected changes in the U.S. administration, Washington and its relations with Kosovo are expected to be the same.  Such a statement was clearly visible throughout all public speeches, body language and emotions of Vice President Biden.  As a result this must be read as the first message from the US Vice President.

The second message:

During all of its stages, the visit of Vice President Biden in Kosovo was characterized by strong friendly emotions; from the great efforts that United States has invested for the benefit of Albanian people, and the commitment to defend Kosovo.  The United States, as a result, supports the government and people of Kosovo.  No one cannot individually take advantage and own the friendship between United States and Kosovo.  This is considered to be the second message of Biden.

The third message

The current relations between United States and Kosovo and the future of their developments will heavily depend on the domestic affairs of Kosovo.  These developments are completely tied to the improvement of the quality of public policies and the government’s public administration.

The public administration in Kosovo is facing two important challenges:  the war against crime and the fight against corruption.  As we know these two cancer tumours were born and further developed into alarming levels from principal actors and main leaders of Kosovo, who are governing the executive branch and other public institutions for many years.

The future of Kosovo, its development and the developing partnership between Kosovo and United States will heavily depend on the results of the war against crime and corruption.  This must be read as the third message of Vice President Biden aimed at the current statesmen of the government of Kosovo.

International message

Kosovo has its own important obligations to fulfil on her bilateral relations with Serbia towards reaching a full scale of normal relations, consolidate its neighbourly relations and with the Euro-Atlantic integration structures.  These challenges must be considered by the government of Kosovo as its bilateral and multilateral obligations in the world stage.

The United States and its foreign policy in the Balkans would not prefer in the future to prioritize individual countries, as it has happened a few years ago.

Washington DC and its Foreign Policy will reach a new equilibrium and tailor new balances with all of the Balkan countries, while strategically aiming to bring all of this sub-region into the Euro-Atlantic organizations.  This must be the fourth message of Biden in Kosovo.

This is the fourth message that must be considered with great responsibility and commitment by today’s and the future top leadership of Kosovo.

The current and future leaders of Kosovo must understand well that United States, over time, will maintain a neutral position in the relations between Kosovo and Serbia, Kosovo and Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia and Kosovo and Albania.  To its core this means that the accomplishment and implementation of Kosovo’s international agreements are part of its foreign policy and its interests.

United States and its foreign policy do not prefer to interfere nor dictate on the solution of issues that have a bilateral or multilateral character between Kosovo and other neighbouring nations in the region.

Specifically, in relation to the draft – agreement on the demarcation line and association of Serbian municipalities in Kosovo, Biden stressed their importance.  At the same time, Biden talked on principle and never mentioned the current drafts, which are part of the political, public and academic discourse in Albania and Kosovo.

United States itself has embraced the consensual principle of “check and balance” on its international affairs.  As a result, on all international agreements in the United States is needed an agreement between the President and the Senate.  Such an internal tradition the United States aspires to encourage in the execution of the foreign policy by other democratic countries.  Even in the case of border line over the Ionian Sea between Albania and Greece, United States kept a neutral position.  United States government does apply the two standards.

The leadership of Kosovo cannot use the top U. S. Leaders, protocol and public ceremonies including their public statements in order to promote their contradicting political projects and agendas that are defied and challenged academically and publically.

With this stated without any diplomatic gloves, the leaders of Kosovo must understand and cannot hide their failures before United States and other allies of Kosovo.  And the fundamental cause of these failures is the high level of crime and corruption.  It is historically known that behind such a menial ‘loyalty’ towards foreigners is hiding a leadership that wants to cover its high level of incrimination and their spectacular corruption.  However the forest cannot be hidden behind a finger.

This analysis was translated and edited from Albanian by: Peter M. Tase

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Lisen Bashkurti

Dr. Lisen Bashkurti is the President of Albanian Diplomatic Academy in Albania. Prof. Bashkurti has been a Chancellor in a number of Universities in the Balkan Peninsula. He is also the Global Vice President of Sun Moon University in South Korea. As a distinguished scholar of international relations he has received many international awards including: A “Gold Medal” for his research on US-Albanian Partnership,” “Four Silver Medals” for his great contribution during his service as Albania’s Ambassador to Hungary (1992-1993); appointed as “Peace Ambassador” from the International Peace Foundation, United Nations (2009). He is the author of more than 18 books that cover a range of issues including: International Affairs, Negotiations and Conflict Resolution, International Diplomacy, Multilateral Diplomacy and Diplomatic History. He is an honorary professor in many prestigious European Universities and an honorary fellow to a number of prominent International Institutions.

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