Former President Sali Berisha has denied allegations of “involvement in significant corruption” levied against him in the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s statement banning him and his family from entering the United States.
A few hours after Blinken’s statement was published, Berisha responded on his social media on Wednesday by pointing out that no corruption charges were raised against him during his political career.
“Throughout my 30 years in politics, there has never been any charges addressed to me, from any person or institution, be it domestic or foreign, on abusing public funds, or any other kind of corruption,” Berisha stated, adding the same is true for his family.
The former President asked the US Secretary of State to publish any evidence on corruption allegations against him, maintaining that they are groundless.
Berisha then reminded the top US diplomat of Albania’s achievements and collaboration with the US administrations during his leadership, notably its NATO membership, Stabilization-Association Agreement with the EU, removing of visa regime with Schengen area countries, strengthening of relations with the US, fight against corruption and organized crime
“I have always tried and never hesitated to take any decision in the common interest of our two countries,” he wrote.
Berisha also pointed out that he has been publicly denouncing corruption in the last 8 years, despite having been withdrawn from political leadership.
“I have publicly denounced more than anyone in the country and outside the Albanian organized crime and its gangs, drug cartels, their ties to high Albanian officials, but also foreign, the rampant government corruption in Albania,” he stressed.
Coming to the justice reform, Berisha said he has been supporting it while also criticizing changes made by the ruling majority aiming to bring the judiciary under its control.
Berisha stated that he has also denounced George Soros as “the main instigator behind the corruption of politicians” and “a real enemy of my country’s democracy”. He added that he has publicly opposed a project prepared by the Soros foundation in Serbia for changing Kosovo borders, and has received threats in return.
Finally, he reiterated that he still stands with positions he has taken throughout his career.