US turns its back on Haradinaj: Secret emails leaked; They won't talk until taxes are abolished
We will not be holding further talks with Haradinaj here in Washington until after those objectives are met, wrote William Berkeley, one of the top men on the US National Security Council
Washington last December took with disbelief the discovery that Prime Minister of the so-called Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj had hired lobbyists, who tried to arrange his meetings with top US representatives through official channels, Lajmi.net reports.
The reason were emails received by the National Security Council from Haradinaj's cabinet and the company he paid to lobby for him. The move, unprecedented in US diplomatic practice, demanded a sharp response from US officials, Pristina media reported.
The emails published by Gazeta Metro show that Haradinaj hired Matthew Oresman to arrange meetings with senior US officials in Washington.
Because of this, William Berkley, one of the top men on the National Security Council, wrote to Haradinaj's advisor, Erolld Belegu, to express his "dismay" about the way the Kosovo government tried to lobby.
He warned that all this could even be the reason for launching an investigation into how taxpayers' money is used.
"We at the White House are dismayed at the Prime Minister's employment of Matthew Oresman and his 'Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP' to lobby for your government through official channels. Use of these firms is likely to backfire and leave us less able to reach our shared goals. Moreover, if the Prime Minister is using public funds to hire lobbyists, then there could be legal implications on both sides that would bear investigation," Berkley wrote in an email.
Otherwise, the letters and emails sent by the company hired by Ramush Haradinaj to Washington requested that he meets with senior officials, but also suggested ways in which the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina should develop.
At the time of the writing of these emails, taxes on goods from Serbia had just been introduced, Lajmi.net reports. Even now, the US is strongly opposed to these taxes and is demanding their immediate abolition. William Berkley further reminded Haradinaj's cabinet that these taxes should be suspended, categorically stating that because of this Ramush Haradinaj would not be received by anyone important for meeting and talks in Washington.
"Again, we strongly urge the Prime Minister to use his considerable authority and political influence to rescind the tariffs immediately and work to re-focus on internal discussions on an agreed end state with Serbia, which will be benefit both sides. We will not be holding further talks here in Washington with the Prime Minister until after those objectives are met," Berkley wrote.