President declares OSCE Ambassador ‘non grata’

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 20, 2019 10:38

President declares OSCE Ambassador ‘non grata’

Story Highlights

  • In response to President Meta's "verbal note", the OSCE headquarters in Vienna avoided a direct response, saying they are Albania's long-term partners, while stressing assistance to the country's progress.

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TIRANA, Nov. 19 – Albanian President Ilir Meta announced today that Head to OSCE to Tirana Bernd Borschardt is no longer welcome at the President’s Institution.

Meta’s office announced this decision through an official letter to the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Presence of this organization in Tirana and the State Protocol. 

The reason, according to the letter, is that Ambassador Borchardt “questioned the President’s decree on the June local elections in Albania”.

While initially scheduled to hold elections on June 30, earlier that month, during moments of intense political tension, Meta canceled the presidential decree deciding the elections’ date to announce a new date, October 13. 

His new decree was disregarded and the elections were held on June 30, under the supervision of both ODIHR observers and various diplomatic missions in Tirana.

Another reason for President Meta’s decision is the incident Ambassador Borchardt was involved in a month ago when he was suddenly found amidst calls of “Rama Ik” and “Shame on you” on the street near the capital’s police department, where the relatives of some of those arrested were protesting the release of their family members. 

Borchardt retorted to the protesters by raising his middle finger, a gesture for which he apologized 24 hours later.

In response to President Meta’s “verbal note”, the OSCE headquarters in Vienna avoided a direct response, saying they are Albania’s long-term partners, while stressing assistance to the country’s progress.

“The OSCE has recognized the verbal note issued by the Office of the President. As a long-term partner of Albania, the OSCE promotes dialogue and cooperation with all Albanian institutions and remains committed to providing assistance and support focused on advancing the country’s national agenda,” reads the response from the OSCE headquarters in Vienna.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 20, 2019 10:38