US State Dept concerned over clash between Baily and ruling Government
Wednesday, 21 December 2016


US State Department spokesman John Kirby opened the daily press briefing on Tuesday with a comment on Macedonia, expressing the Department's worry about the elevated political tensions after the early elections and the rhetoric aimed at American diplomats.

"First on Macedonia. We are concerned about heightened political tensions in Macedonia following the December 11th parliamentary elections, and we condemn the inflammatory rhetoric from some political leaders which gives license to attacks on democratic institutions and ambassadors accredited to Macedonia. We call on political leaders to stop unwarranted attacks, respect the democratic process, and allow the formation of a credible, stable government committed to the rule of law, accountability, and fundamental freedoms. The United States stands ready to assist such a government to achieve Macedonia’s longstanding goal of Euro-Atlantic integration", Kirby told the assembled press.

The comment was an apparent response to the statement made by VMRO-DPMNE President Nikola Gruevski over the weekend, who said that some diplomats in Macedonia are interfering in domestic politics. Gruevski and US Ambassador Jess Baily met over the weekend, resulting in a testy press release in which VMRO-DPMNE said that "the role of an Ambassador is to monitor the situation in a country and inform his own country of the developments" and then "thanked" Baily for his services to maintain political dialogue in the country so far.

VMRO-DPMNE supporters, who were gathered in front of the State Electoral Commission to guard against what they say are attempts to change the outcome of the elections in favor of the social-democratic SDSM party, were carrying signs telling Baily to leave Macedonia, while welcoming the arrival of the incoming Trump administration. "Trump, we love you", one of the signs said. Baily was also faced with a lot of criticism on the social media, with ugly photoshops of him circulating on twitter.

According to the press release following the meeting between Gruevski and Baily, the US Ambassador raised the issue of some VMRO-DPMNE officials allegedly doubting the depth of friendship between the two countries.


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