Zef Mazi is a renowned diplomat of the transition period. He has been for many years the Head of Mission (Ambassador) of Albania to the OSCE and to the UN, to the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland.
He has served for several years in the OSCE Secretariat and for the past seven years has served as Special Assistant for Strategy to the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Speaking to the deputy editor-in-chief of Dita newspaper, ErionHabilaj, MrMazi comments on Sunday's incident with the OSCE ambassador in Tirana. The seemingly banal event has sparked much public debate.
“So far the Borchard gesture has not been seen and heard of anywhere else where there are OSCE missions on the ground! That's scandalous, "Mazi says.
Below is the full interview published today in Dita newspaper.
We have seen during these 24 hours revolts that might not be considered minor and many writings have been published against the gesture of Borchard, Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania, to the people in protest. As a veteran of the OSCE / OSCE, what would be your comment?
I am glad you refer to him as his title: Chairman of the OSCE Presence in Albania. In an article in your newspaper two weeks ago I explained that the OSCE does not appoint ambassadors, therefore, there are no ambassadors in any country. It has no legal personality, and appoints a head of mission or presence. He could be the ambassador of Germany if, for example, Germany decides to appoint him somewhere, but not the OSCE.
So far, Borchard's gesture has not been seen and heard of in no other place where there are OSCE missions on the ground! This is scandalous! He must urgently be expelled from our country as a "non-grata" person, or urgently required to resign himself, setting a clear deadline for action. In the meantime, the Secretary-General of the OSCE must be urgently informed of his shameful gesture and of the unequivocal action,Albania must fear not expel him from our country. Pressures might come from some country, but Albania should not give in to the pressures.
This is the only and best way to demonstrate that we still have left a very thin thread of a state, that this state protects the interests of its citizens and does not allow a certain Borchard to ridicule and insult them. Any normal country would have done this urgently, would have "got rid of him", as people say, pointing out that this OSCE representative is not worthy and able, he cannot continue his work.
In our country. it seems that there is no proper state, no civil society, no media, nothing of this nature, to humiliate that man and people to throw eggs at him and boo him with trumpets until he leaves the country, not as we have done, acknowledging the extension of his term.
What do you think should be done to get Borchard out of the country?
This doesn’t require much thinking, it is a simple, it is an internationally known practice. The acting foreign minister must call him and communicate Albania's decision to declare him a "non grata" person and ask him to urgently leave the country, or ask him to resign until a certain date (10 days) after which he is automatically declared a "non grata" person.
The Minister in charge of the matter must notify the OSCE Secretary General directly and, through the OSCE Ambassador in Vienna, communicates this decision urgently and in writing, through a Verbal Note.
Does the Prime Minister allow this?
The country, the state, is neither the property nor the prime minister's estate. He is simply an administrator of public taxpayer money. When he does not manage them well and as expected, he is no longer voted.
The Prime Minister would give himself a good face if he backs this path and this right decision without equivocation –Borchardmust leave the country urgently. He thus preserves the dignity of himself, his country, and his people. This embarrassing stain of this nature will stay with us for long if this sharp decline does not stop urgently.
A few days ago we read an article about the visit of the OSCE Secretary General to Belgrade. He praised Serbia for contributing to regional stability and praised Serbia's support and constructive stances to help Albania's 2020 rotating presidency succeed. Have you any comments?
I also read that short article. Having a friend or loving a place and some leaders in one place is nothing wrong. The OSCE Secretary General is widely known for his friendships and preferences towards that country. He has served there and has connections and acquaintances with a number of people there. There are even rumors that even his chief of cabinet will be chosen from that place!
The OSCE Secretary General is simply the "Chief Administrative Officer", nothing more, only in a special case when he is in charge of conveying a particular political issue from the Presidency. This should be well known.
It is very unfortunate and frustrating how a Secretary General like the OSCE can say these words. I wish that these words I saying would be translated and sent to the Vienna by the Presence in Tirana, as it does on other occasions. Everyone knows that Serbia has for 10 years or more not let any stone unturned, anywhere in the world, in any country and institution, to hinder in an organized manner everything for Kosovo and around Kosovo, including, first of all, the progress of the international recognition of Kosovo. This is done in a very organized and coordinated way from the center there.
Does this seem to the OSCE Secretary General as serving the stability of the region ?!
Also, it has not occurred to me so far that Serbia has made any contribution to the success of the Albanian presidency in 2020. Perhaps only one of our "internationalists" can understand that this is the case! On the contrary, zero help so far and only empty dumbbells on one side and bats on wheels on the other.
What should be done in this case, in your opinion?
In my view, the Minister in charge should immediately call and express our country's great concern over these Secretary-General's words. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shouldsend him a Verbal Note with all our concerns, stressing that we seek official explanations for why he said so, where he supported and where he still supports those statements, who told him thigs are the way he said it, why he believed this to be so, etc.
Albania has not had any help and, as I understand it, does not expect one from Serbia. Ask the Secretary for an official explanation and he must correct what he said, or withdraw those words. The ambassador in Vienna, at the behest of his superior, must present a Verbal Note directly to him at the meeting, expressing in writing and orally all the deep concerns about these statements.
Any normal state that could touch on subtle points of vital national interest, as in this case, would react immediately, strongly, in this way, and would not allow this to pass easily. Any action or ambiguity in this regard will further diminish our self-esteem and in the eyes of the world.