Tirana, Apr 06 (Tirana Echo) – US Ambassador Donald Lu has denied any involvement with an allegedly George Soros financial scheme to help Albania’s left wing government and its justice reform.
Lu’s comments came days after conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch published materials that US billionaire George Soros financed left-wing political activities in Albania and hinted at possible links with the US Embassy in Tirana. The conservative group said $9 million USD George Soros money were used to give Albania’s socialist government ‘full control over judiciary’.
New records released by Judicial Watch include an April 2016 memo from the U.S. Embassy in Tirana that reveals that the embassy “sponsored” a survey along with Soros’s Open Society Foundation to measure Albanian citizens’ “knowledge, support, and expectations on justice reform.”
Speaking to the Voice of America, US Ambassador to Albania Donald Lu denied any involvement with any Soros funded scheme and said the US supports justice reform in Albania as a matter of national interest.
“Judicial reform critics have identified the actions of the USA Embassy in Tirana as inspired by Soros, although we do not offer any funding for the Open Society Foundation, nor do we accept any financing by the OSF. When Albania has a clean justice system, it will be a stronger ally in NATO and closer to the EU integration,” – Lu told VOA.
The US Ambassador has been under heavy criticism by Albania’s opposition for his ‘bias support’ of the current socialist government led by premier Edi Rama.
Albania is one of Europe’s most corrupt countries and last year rated 38 out 100 points in Transparency International’s global corruption perception index.
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