Staff at Kosovo Embassies on Welfare in Host Countries

May 19, 2011 — Kosovo’s Priština-based authorities opened embassies in a number of European countries, but are reportedly unable to provide appropriate salaries for the staff.

European states are obligated to ensure payment of social welfare to a certain number of employees at the embassies opened by the Kosovo Albanian authorities, since their salaries are lower than the allowed minimum.

These employees are classified as social cases, due to the low salaries they receive from the budget of the Kosovo government…

This is the same Kosovo that has “received more than twice the American bilateral foreign assistance per capita than Egypt. Yet, after more than a decade of immense international investment and the best-resourced humanitarian mission the world has ever seen, Kosovo enters its fourth year of independence [sic] amid its own internal turmoil.” (”Thug Life” — Foreign Policy, Feb. 17, 2011)

You also know you’re not a country if you’ve been flying around the world thanking countries that have recognized you and lobbying those that haven’t, and a “fellow Muslim country” arrests you because it has no idea that your country is trying to become a country:

Fate of Kosovo Flying Lobbyist Unknown (Jan. 12, 2012)

Pristina - The family and friends of James Berisha, who was flying across Africa to lobby for the recognition of Kosovo’s independence, do not know whether he is still alive, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

It has been rumoured that he is being held in a prison in Eritrea, in east Africa, since they lost contact with him on August 15.

But in a statement issued by Flying for Kosovo, the website set up to promote his trip, it has now emerged that there has still been no confirmation of his whereabouts.

“It is with a deep and saddened heart that we still do not have any confirmation as to whether James is truly alive or not. Although it is rumoured that James is alive, and being held by Eritrean officials - in reality, there is absolutely no way to confirm that as fact, since his family has consistently been denied even telephone access to him.”

The statement went on to say that despite many meetings with many officials over the past five months, his family have received no concrete information.

“It is imperative that we all continue to do what we can to raise awareness in the world about Kosovo’s independence.”

James Berisha’s relatives and colleagues in Pristina say he last contacted them on Monday, August 15, from Asmara, in Eritrea, where he planned to meet with officials in the state, which borders Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa.

A resident of the US state of Texas who grew up in Kosovo, Berisha started flying across Africa in November 2010, asking African states to recognise Kosovo’s independence, declared in 2008.

At the end of May, Berisha crash-landed in Sudan, after a cylinder of his Cessna 172 4-seater plane broke and blocked the supply of fuel to the engine. He was unharmed. […]

The fool was released a week later, after diplomatic efforts mostly by Kosovo, for some reason, and not by the U.S.:

Following constant engagements, the first deputy prime minister of Government of Republic of Kosova, Behgjet Pacolli confirmed the release of Albanian-American pilot James Berisha, who was detained in Eritrea.

The press release of the office of deputy prime minister Pacolli, reads that Pacolli together with Berisha were travelling to Istanbul, whereas on Thursday they will arrive in Prishtina.

“The deputy prime minister Pacolli was constantly engaged to release the Albanian-American pilot….During this period, Pacolli has met several times the officials of Eritrea, including a meeting with the president of Eritrea in New York.

Pacolli thanks all officials of Eritrea who contributed for releasing the pilot James Berisha.

Pacolli realized as well the promise given to mother of James Berisha, that he will not stop until her son will be free and triumph of justice,” reads the press release.

Oh wait — there was one American official who got involved. Even though Berisha is a citizen of Texas, the ubiquitous, eternal Albanian ass-kisser, New York Rep. Eliot Engel made sure to publicize his own efforts on Berisha’s behalf to his constituency, the Albanian mafia mecca in the Bronx:

KOSOVAR-AMERICAN (Really? Really?) PILOT RELEASED FROM ERITREA PRISON TODAY; FREEDOM ADVOCATED BY REP. ENGEL (Jan. 18)

…”It is a great relief that James has been released from prison and has left Eritrea. This is a belated holiday present for the Berisha family, and I wish for a quick reunion for James with his loved ones.

“I have been working behind the scenes for James Barisha’s release for several months and thank the Eritrean authorities for granting my humanitarian request to have him set free…He was held largely incommunicado, and the US Consular staff in Eritrea had limited access to him.

Attached is a letter Reps. Engel and Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Albanian Issues Caucus, wrote to the government of Eritrea on November 22, 2012 calling for James Berisha’s release. [Not sure where it was attached.]

Apparently, Texas didn’t give a shit. Maybe they were glad to be rid of him.

Only one report ever mentioned why the Eritrean government arrested Berisha for five months. Here’s Tesfa News (”daily news and views related to Eritrea”) about The Flying Lobbyist:

Does James Berisha’s Detention have any relations with Amnesty’s failed Secret Mission in Eritrea?

Recently, two major but less publicized incidents had happened in Eritrea…One is the alleged detention of an Albanian-American flying lobbyist and the other Amnesty’s failed ‘secret mission’ in Eritrea.

“In this last email, Berisha warned us that he may be arrested,” Gashi told.

[T]he government of Eritrea announced that it has disrupted a grand “secret mission” financed and organised by the right[s] group Amnesty International inside the country.

The story begins the day when the Eritrean intelligence was tipped off with what seems to be a fax letter, classified as “Urgent” and “Strictly Confidential”. It was written and signed by Ms. Catherine Price, Amnesty’s head of Africa Special Program, to Mr. Adams Subi Waitara, Amnesty’s senior researcher Tanzania Section, regarding to the latter’s appointment to lead a four man delegation to Eritrea for a “highly confidential mission”.

The letter also instructs Mr. Adams that the remaining three colleagues will meet him in Nairobi….they will start heading to Eritrea….The names of the three colleagues that are stated on the letter as delegates are Mr. Mohammed Hassan Noor, Ms. Concepcion Empeno and Kathryn Achilles. The name James Berisha simply doesn’t exist anywhere in the letter.

Ever since the 1st of August 2011 dated Amnesty letter got in its possession, the Eritrean security organs becomes alert and watchful on the activities of every foreigner that are coming in and goes out.

It happens that James Berisha travelled from Sudan, by commercial plane, to Eritrea for his “very precious lobbying mission for the recognition of Kosovo”, according to the Kosovar foreign ministry…

After quietly conducting their investigations, it is expected that [the Eritrean government] will expose Amnesty’s latest failed ploy bare.

The government has promised to come up with a detailed and conclusive investigative report on the matter with details of:

Who are the people that “Amnesty International” tried to illegally send to Eritrea from 6th to 16th of September, 2011?
What was their mission?
Who is funding the mission?
For what purpose?
What measures did the Government of Eritrea take?

In this regard, if Berisha has a case either in relation to Amnesty International or any other, he has no option except to answer for it according to the law of the country. When this report is due, we will know if James Berisha is simply a victim of circumstances or if he is indeed part of the planed secret mission. […]

Notice that this Eritrean news agency, if it’s even that, got it right when Engel couldn’t: Berisha is an Albanian-American, not a Kosovar-American. Since there’s no such nationality as Kosovar.