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Written by SOT.COM.AL 20 Mars 2023
The former President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Albania, Mark Crawford, invited to the show "Open" on News24 with journalist Eni Vasili, discussed, among other things, the "McGonigal" scandal.
He stated that such an affair would not be able to affect the relationship between the two states in the long term, but that it would affect the short term.
Crawford added that he suspects that in relation to this case there is still information that has not yet been published, as it seems strange that such a high-ranking FBI official would come to Albania and be bribed for such an amount as what has been mentioned. so for about 225 thousand dollars.
Erl Murati: Business is influenced by politics. It is not excluded that DASH has turned a blind eye to the mistakes made by the Albanian government for the sake of the partnership between the two countries. Do you think that "McGonigal" will have an impact on the relations between the two administrations of our states?
Mark Crawford: It is a positive relationship, I think that the Albanians are more dependent on the embassy than they should be. I was talking to a fellow US soldier about the drug issue and the opening of a DEA office. I saw that the reaction of the people is positive.
But I asked him if you see drugs in Chicago will you notify a foreign official that you saw it?
It is surprising to me that Albanians, when they have a problem, go to Washington.
Erl Murati: It came from trust in the last 30 years towards the political class in the country and the Albanian institutions. so the Americans are seen as "policemen".
Mark Crawford: In the long run this is not good. "McGonigal" will not affect the two countries in the long term, but in the short term it will. Americans need to clean their house for once.
Erl Murati: Are they worried that we drive away the American investors and welcome the Russians?
Mark Crawford: I think they are with the investigations that are being carried out. But it's a little late. Better late than never. It is something that at that time I think the Embassy did not understand how serious the situation was. I hope they didn't realize McGonigal's role at the time and took it as a business dispute.
My concern is that McGonigal was working for Russian interest with some Albanian companies.
Ola Xama: Do you know about McGonigal's other activity in Albania?
Mark Crawford: I haven't heard, I've read some concerns that he met some oligarchs and took money from them. I believe they are investigating because the amount mentioned seems small for an FBI official to come bribe, or maybe they have information that has not been released.