American Congressman Eliot Engel, the biggest Albanian lobbyist for decades, the advocate of Kosovo's independence and the bombing of Serbia in 1999, will arrive in Serbia tomorrow. Engel will meet with President Aleksandar Vucic, and will also have talks in the Serbian Parliament. This congressman is currently head of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Lower House of Congress of the United States.
Originally, the Ukrainian Jew, whose ancestors emigrated to the United States from imperial Russia, Endzel, who represents the New York constituency, boasted not long ago:
- My work on promoting American-Kosovo relations was among the most thoughtful achievements of my congress years.
He was among the first to demand that the White House attack the Serb forces in Kosovo in 1999 and establish a non-flying zone for Serbian planes.
He was among the first proponents of Kosovo's independence, and when it was declared, he was at the helm of a column of those who recognized the unilateral declaration of independence in 2008.
His operation has continued, systematically, to this day.
In March 2017, Engel confirmed at the meeting of the Congressional Foreign Affairs Committee that the United States is currently opposed to the formation of the Kosovo Army and has asked for that position to be changed as soon as possible. He estimated that Kosovo should have an army, arguing that Russia is arming Belgrade.
Engel said that Kosovo, although "a free and independent country for nine years," has no army, and called on the United States to stay with Kosovo.
This member of the Albanian Cocus also offered additional, emotional, argumentation:
- Kosovo proudly became the strongest supporter of the US in Europe, with the support which reaches 85 percent.
Engel himself visited Kosovo on several occasions, where he enjoys the popularity of rock stars.
In Peja, one of the "American" boulevards, next to Clinton, Albright and others, carries his name. The character of Engel is imprinted on the Kosovo postal stamp of two euros.
— Eliot Engel (@RepEliotEngel) June 11, 2019
He testified that the Albanians are taking pictures with him on the street, so it is not surprising that he was the first foreign official who addressed in Kosovo parliament.
Engel is bothered with the fact that the so-called recognition of Kosovo was withdrawn. He wrote on "Twitter" that the Serbian state should give up that policy because the independence of Kosovo is irreversible.
- Serbia's false claims that the countries are turning back on Kosovo is deceiving and provokes great anger in the world. Serbia should stop this and return to normalization with its neighbor. Kosovo's independence and its sovereignty are permanent - he claims.
However, he did not stop only on Serbia's attitude towards its southern province. In June 2017, in a letter to the EU foreign policy and security minister, Federica Mogherini, he went one step further. Engel expressed the opinion that Serbia "is simply not ready for the EU" and that "the process of joining" should be slowed down.
At the beginning of the year, he was elected Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Lower House of Congress of the United States. This influential body often organizes hearings of US officials and passes resolutions that should give guidance to Washington's foreign policy.
Ramush Haradinaj, the prime minister of the provisional Kosovo institutions, was among the first to congratulate him.
- Extraordinary news for Kosovo that our longtime friend Eliot Engel took oath today as chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. His contribution to Kosovo has a historical dimension. Engel's name is synonymous with Kosovo's eternal friendship with the United States. Congratulations - Haradinaj wrote.
Exceptional news for #Kosovo that our longstanding friend @RepEliotEngel is sworn in today as as Chairman of the @HFACDemocrats. His contribution for #Kosovo has been of historic dimension. #Engel’s name is synonymous with #Kosovo’s eternal friendship with #UnitedStates. Congrats pic.twitter.com/YEirsTL9r4
— Ramush Haradinaj (@haradinajramush) January 4, 2019
Consequently, there were congratulations from Behgjet Pacolli, minister of foreign affairs of so-called Kosovo and of the president of provisional Kosovo institutions Hashim Thaci.
Dear @RepEliotEngel, congratulations on the new mandate as the Chair of House Foreign Affairs Committee @HouseForeign. You have been a key player for #Kosovo’s freedom, independence and international recognition. Looking forward to continuous cooperation for final peace deal. pic.twitter.com/Bi8aXdwE3R
— Hashim Thaçi (@HashimThaciRKS) January 5, 2019
As Tanjug reported, Engel will talk to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic in Belgrade and will also meet in the Serbian Parliament.
He will speak with Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Marinkovic, Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Zarko Obradovic, and MPs Gordana Comic and Sandra Bozic.
According to Marinkovic, Engel sent a request to come to the Serbian parliament.
To the conclusion that he is an extreme Albanian lobbyist who uses every opportunity to speak against Serbia, Marinkovic said for "Novosti":
- Yes, the most extreme lobbyist. But every opportunity is important for us. If we had communication with congressmen in the nineties, it would be better now. The essence is that we are open to communication, even with those who implement a policy that is not in accordance with the interests of Serbia.
Stating that we should try to convince the people like him into changing his opinion, Markovic said that the worst thing is to leave them to the influence of the one-sided propaganda, which he said that Albanians have been lobbying for the past 30-40 years.
- We are convinced that the picture about us, not just as lobbyists, but the public opinion of the west, is completely distorted. Because a lie which was stated 100 times becomes truth. We must show at what are the facts, influence the change of attitude, to be more offensive, and emphasize what our legitimate interests are and that we have the right to protect them - said Marinkovic.
VIDEO Vucic: It is impossible that all of those who want the main role are the ones who accepted the independence of Kosovo