Escobar: The disinformation about my dismissal was published after I communicated with the Kosovo government

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U.S. Deputy/Assistant Secretary Gabriel Escobar said that disinformation regarding his alleged dismissal from the U.S. Department of State was published by a self-proclaimed journalist. This occurred after Escobar had discussions with regional governments, including Kosovo’s, about his transition to a new role following the end of his mandate.

On May 4 and 5, Vudi Xhymshiti, whom Escobar referred to as a “so-called journalist,” wrote on “The Frontliner” that American diplomat Gabriel Escobar was dismissed due to his family’s financial ties with Serbian institutions.

However, Escobar denied all these allegations, calling them lies.

Everything in that report is a lie. First of all, I’m not being fired, and everyone at the State Department has verified that. Second, my wife doesn’t receive any money from any foreign government.”

Escobar added that the disinformation about his dismissal was made public immediately after his communication with the Kosovo government, implying that the information might have leaked from there.

“In fact, the report came out after I had through diplomatic channels reached out to all the governments in the region to start talking about the transition. And this one – this report came out shortly after I communicated to the Government of Kosovo. So it is this kind of disinformation that is unfortunate that is being propagated in the Western Balkans, and also – I might add – one of the reasons why the media context in Kosovo has been so criticized by independent journalists and independent organizations“, said Escobar on May 8.

However, the Kosovo government denied being the source of news regarding Escobar’s end of mandate.

We have no contact with the journalist in question, and we do not share his views regarding his claims about Envoy Escobar”, said officials from the Kosovo government.

The U.S. Department of State also refuted Xhymshiti’s claims in responses provided to two Albanian-language media outlets, Voice of America and Gazeta Express.

Deputy Assistant Secretary Gabriel Escobar has not been dismissed from his position. All career diplomats change assignments every four years as part of a regular practice,” stated the spokesperson for the State Department.

Initially, Sbunker investigated the claims made by Vudi Xhymshiti against Gabriel Escobar in two articles published in published in March. Xhymshiti alleged that there were reported financial connections between Deputy Assistant Secretary Escobar’s wife and the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

However, these claims were denied by the U.S. Department of State in a written response to Sbunker.

The State Department described the allegations as offensive and unfounded rumors, urging journalists to “verify facts before spreading them“. They labeled disinformation as a danger to the U.S. and its partners.

*This article is published as part of the Western Balkans Regional Initiative against disinformation. Western Balkans Anti-Disinformation Hub: exposing malign influences through watchdog journalism.