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Written by SOT.COM.AL 10 Mars 2023
The fight against corruption remains the focus of American policy towards North Macedonia.
In this context, the unannounced visit to Skopje on Friday of the global coordinator for the fight against corruption at the US Department of State, Richard Nephew, who in the meeting with the Macedonian president, Stevo Pendarovski, focused on the fight against corruption, according to the announcement of the Presidency.
"The fight against crime and corruption, at every level, including high-level corruption, is extremely important in efforts to build the rule of law and to gain citizens' trust in the institutions," the statement of the Macedonian Presidency states, without giving other details related to this meeting.
The US ambassador in Skopje, Angela Aggeler, said that the purpose of the visit of the DASH senior official is not the "black list" that has been talked about for a long time.
"It's not here to reveal names for the blacklist or anything like that. It is here to discuss the processes, sanctions, protocols that the American Government has on the issue of corruption", said Aggeler.
However, she admitted that investigations are underway on this issue and that there will be people who will be blacklisted because of their involvement in corruption.
"There are several lists, according to which different persons are investigated in different contexts for corruption. I stand by what I said the other day and believe it to be true. However, the information must come from Washington. I can't give you any time frame, nor how many people will be on the list", said American Ambassador Aggeler.
She once again confirmed the stated data that more than one person from North Macedonia will be on the "black list of American sanctions".
A sanctions team from the United States of America on December 6, 2022 stayed in North Macedonia to investigate officials and former officials suspected of corruption.
The American ambassador in Skopje, Angela Aggeler, said at the time that this team will "undertake a more aggressive approach to corrupt actors, both past and present."
In April 2022, the US imposed sanctions on seven people it said were involved in corruption, including former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and the former director of the secret police, Sasho Mijallkov.
In addition to Gruevski and Mijalkov, members of their immediate family were also blacklisted./REL/