Escobar: Some political actors do not share Euro-Atlantic values

Those who “engage in corrupt, destabilising or anti-democratic behaviour” in the Western Balkans region will face the “consequences”, Gabriel Escobar, the US special envoy said. [EPA-EFE/GEORGI LICOVSKI]

The US will not hesitate to use sanctions to send a strong message to corrupt and destabilising actors in the region, Gabriel Escobar, the US special envoy for the Western Balkans told the Montenegro agency MINA.

He assessed that the identity policy, which divides and which has hindered the progress of the region in the past, has not done anything regarding the interests of the people from the Western Balkans.

“In order for Montenegro to make concrete progress on its Euro-Atlantic path, political leaders, civil society and all those who believe in the European future of the country must work together to create a civil society,” Escobar said.

He explained that in such a society, religion, nationality and ethnicity will not determine whether someone feels safe and an equal member of the community.

Asked how he views the Memorandum signed by the Civic Movement URA, Civis, the Socialist People’s Party and minority parties, Escobar said the US has no official position on the political deal.

“Nevertheless, we support those who are for a sovereign, inclusive and democratic Montenegro, which is positioned in Euro-Atlantic institutions”, Escobar said.

Asked whether all political actors in Montenegro share these values, Escobar said he “would say no.”

“In Montenegro, as in other countries in the region, we are once again witnessing the damage caused by actors who cynically manipulate identity issues for their own goals”, Escobar concluded, adding that the US is ready to support Montenegro in reaching its full potential.

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