Friday, June 16, 2017

Have no doubt, it's a message against Rama

Basha/Trump image from article
By Çim Peka -  15/06/2017
What is a meeting or a picture with the US President? It depends on the context. For an Iranian leader it may be merely a curse; while for an Albanian it’s a blessing. Fortunately, for the Albanians the moral and politic authority of the United States has not been harmed and continues to be decisive in the domestic political developments too. In spring, the Balkans seemed in the brink of a total collapse that not only would undo all the success reached after Yugoslavia’s dismemberment but would also bring back the clouds of the inside and ethnic conflicts over Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Albania. EU highest officials took several tours in the region, which not only didn’t bring any result but failed shamefully. It was then that the incumbent Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs at the US State Department, Brian Hoyt Yee, took a tour in our region. Despite US administration’s distraction over their own motives; regardless Mr. Yee is leaving from his post, his visit, pressure and even blackmails he used in Skopje, Tirana and elsewhere in the region made the conflicts shadows disappear magically.
It is a combination of power, influence, respect and affection the United States enjoys in our region, especially among Albanians which give a big deal to any contact, of any rank, among Albanian and US politicians. No one understands better than Edi Rama the political and electoral power of a meeting or picture with the US President, whoever they might be. He knows it so well that he’s ready to violate the US laws and send people to prison only for a picture. He was ready to make the same think at NATO’s summit in Brussels, a few weeks ago. Edi Rama hired the most influential lobbyists in Washington DC, with direct and personal connections to President Trump. is in the know of the real conditions and bills, ways of paying and mediators for these payments. It’s enough to say it is millions of dollars. This is not important; Rama has money and pays. He has always paid. Important is the fact that despite the hired lobbyists and the paid money, Edi Rama was refused a meeting and/or a picture with President Trump in Brussels and Edi Rama knows it very well.
In this context, Lulzim Basha’s [JB - see] meeting and picture with President Trump more than in Basha’s favour was against Rama. Let us be sincere, no one expects Donald Trump to discuss and solve the world problems with the chief of the opposition of Albania, whoever they might be. It doesn’t happen and it doesn’t have to happen! The public diplomacy is made with public messages. The meeting and picture that the US President allowed to the Albanian opposition’s chief is a direct, strong, public and even brutal message against Edi Rama [see], considering it was sent in the middle of the electoral campaign, only ten days before the elections.
In my knowledge, only once President Trump met an opposition leader and it was a private dinner with the chief of the Ukrainian opposition, former political prisoner and billionaire Yulia Tymoshenko. In that case there was no public picture, no public announcement, only “permission” for Tymoshenko to tell about the dinner. It is clear Basha’s picture with the President is not taken with a smartphone, neither is it a selfie. It’s a picture shot by a photograph of the White House, in front of the American flag!
Of course, the message is clear and Rama has received it. The political class in Albania has received it. The other partners of Albania have received it. The Albanian electorate will receive it (how remains to be seen on June 25). But this is not important today. The point is at the other message, which was only for Lulzim Basha.
If he, Basha, continues to think for a co-governance with Edi Rama after the elections, then he has understood nothing.
For his own bad!

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