Odd news from Albania…

Editor's take

"We do not have to decide in place of the Albanians," has recently said the French ambassador to Albania, Elisabeth Barsacq.

The top diplomat of an authoritarian country in the world diplomacy accredited in Tirana made that candid comment answering a question by local media about the role and intervention of foreign ambassadors in the internal affairs of this Balkan country.

"So there are two things at the same time: the intervention of foreigners prompted by the desire of a new state to receive confirmation that it is doing well and on the other hand criticism of this intervention. I am very careful and we do not have to decide for the Albanians," Barsacq said in the interview with Euronews Albania released last Monday.

France, a traditional friendly country of the Albanian people, has always respected their integrity never giving up its effort to help them to develop in the spirit of real democracy and pluralism. It has done that even at the time of the communist governance of Albania finding ways of keeping links through economic and trade exchanges but particularly through cultural links.

'French Spring' has always blossomed in Tirana, Korca, Shkodra, across the country.

But it sounds so 'golden' what the French Ambassador said that foreign diplomats do not have all the keys to understanding the reality of a country, in this case of Albania.

It holds so true!

But Albanian politicians have tried to use foreign diplomats as tools to reach their goals, of course finding the readiness of some of them on some occasions.

First Democrats in 1990s and now Socialists have the support of the US diplomacy and make use of it to stay in power. The US Ambassador, Yuri Kim has become the staunch supporter of PM Edi Rama. Earlier in 1990s there were other senior diplomats praising Sali Berisha, the first president of post communist Albania.

Now that the current chairman of the opposition Democratic Party (DP), Lulzim Basha, former protege of Berisha, is in trouble with his 'father' and other adversaries in the DP, he has gone further in his personal actions regarding the political platform of the first right-wing party established in early 90s in Albania.

"DP is proud to be the first political party in Albania and the region joining the world wide initiative undertaken by the US to keep out of the decision making institutions persons declared non grata by the US."

This is explicitly what Basha made public on Tuesday. It's clear: the target is Berisha rather than Basha's loyalty to the US.

But it's doubtful that the traditional US diplomacy will be happy to be used in such a foxy way by a politician for his own interests in the political fight which he might continue losing. Washington's diplomacy does not seem so infantile to keep investing in losers because Basha has been a total failure of the DP since 2013.

For the moment, as Albania's 'big brother', the US diplomacy is in harmony with the current partner, Edi Rama, and it can keep alive his ruling even in the next general election!

But in all this case the problem is the further loss of integrity of DP in the country and abroad. Its members are now in the focus of the US Embassy which has the 'permission' of Basha to remove any one from leading bodies - it suffices a designation to be declared persona non grata by the US and any Democrat is out of the DP. And the irony is that Basha is proud of being the first political party in Albania and the region to make such a decision. Even in Washington true politicians and diplomats laugh at such servility of a party; integrity is their motto and they know that the US can rely only on leaders of parties with integrity.

It's hard to say that DP's sister parties in Europe will be happy with the latest decision of Basha; integrity and sovereign decisions are sacred for those political parties, and they have never let anyone interfere in the internal life of their parties! /Argumentum.al