söndag 2 januari 2011

U.S. "expects cooperation from Priština"

U.S. "expects cooperation from Priština"

21 December 2010 | 15:51 | Source: VOA, Tanjug
WASHINGTON, PRIŠTINA -- A U.S. state department official says his country expects both Priština and Tirana to cooperate with any possible organ trade investigation.
Thomas Countryman (VOA, file)
Thomas Countryman (VOA, file)
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Thomas Countryman spoke in reference to accusations of organ trafficking in Kosovo and the involvement of Kosovo Albanian Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, which were published in the report of Council of Europe (CoE) rapporteur Dick Marty.

Countryman stated in an interview for VOA that the U.S. takes the report "very seriously".

"EULEX has already investigated on earlier accusations. If there are new evidence or new witnesses mentioned in Marty's report, EULEX and other authorized bodies must be informed about it for investigation," said he.

"The U.S. expects and would welcome the statements of the governments in Priština and Tirana that they will cooperate with any possible investigation. The U.S. insisted several times on the fact that nothing is more important than establishing a rule of law across South-East Europe," the U.S. State Department official was quoted as saying.

"Unfortunately, there is too much organized crime not only in Kosovo, south and north from Kosovo, but rather in all regional countries. The governments of regional countries have to cooperate more efficiently with the local authorities regarding this matter," he stressed.

Countryman said that he "had not seen Marty's report and therefore could not comment on it", and added that the general purpose of the investigation is to establish individual responsibility for individual crimes, "as one cannot claim collective responsibility and say that all Serbs, Albanians or Croats are to blame for the actions of the few".

"That is why the U.S. supports new evidence and we expect all countries and individuals in the region to cooperate with the investigation," he underscored. 

"Marty's report hurts Kosovo's image"
KFOR Commander Erhard Buehler said that the report in which Council of Europe rapporteur Dick Marty accuses Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci of involvement in drug and organ trafficking was "bad for Kosovo's image".

"If there is no evidence on the table, all of us are innocent. Nothing has changed in our cooperation, and with the damage done after the report, due to the reaction of the international press, the report does not help Kosovo's image," Buehler said on Monday during a visit to the town of Srbica.

"We are cooperating closely with the Kosovo police and EULEX, an if we have evidence we will turn it over to the police, but as long as there is no evidence, we operate under the presumption of innocence," Buehler said.

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