According to Belgrade daily Vecernje Novosti (Evening News), the most influential Albanian drganizer of the event was Richard Holbrooke, while many of his former cohorts from the Clinton days took part: Madeleine Albright, Wesley Clark and James Rubin, as well as local Congressman Eliott Engel, known supporter of Albanian causes.
“The purpose of the meeting was to raise funds and secure Albanian-American votes for Democratic presidential candidate [John] Kerry,” says the Novosti report, adding that in return, the Democrats promised Albanians the independence of Kosovo.
The unnamed Novosti source in New York also claims that Kosovo Albanians sent a low-level delegation to the meeting, trying to stay below radar. Among the conclusions of the gathering, the report alleges, was that the process of Kosovo’s separation was proceeding according to plan; that the March attacks on Serbs did some short-term damage to the cause, but that in the big picture, the ethnic cleansing that occurred actually served the Albanians’ purpose.
Kosovo and American Albanians were supposedly also told that if Kerry were elected, he would most likely appoint Holbrooke the new Secretary of State, and he would continue Albright’s policies, namely support the independence of Kosovo.
General Wesley Clark, reportedly admonished the Kosovo Albanians for the March events, tlling them to “influence their local commanders so as to improve relations with KFOR,” say Novosti.
According to the paper, the participants agreed to organize the All-Albanian Congress, which would formulate the new strategy of Albanian national policy in the Balkans; the Congress would take place mid-summer, in Macedonia…
Unless someone can place Clark, Albright, Rubin and Holbrooke in New York this Monday, it’s hard to say whether this report is accurate or not. Certainly, all of them have been very supportive of Albanian causes, specifically endorsing the independence of Kosovo. That Holbrooke might be Kerry’s StateSec is a rumor circulating for quite some time.
I suppose we’ll know for sure if that All-Albanian Congress is really held in Macedonia this summer…