The U.S. State Department denies the allegations raised against Escobar

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The claim made by Vudi Xhymshiti that Deputy Assistant Secretary Gabriel Escobar has underestimated the Kosovo government, linking this to allegations that his wife receives funds from the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been denied by the U.S. State Department.

In an article published by Vudi Xhymshiti on March 22, 2024, it is claimed that there are reported financial connections between the wife of Deputy Assistant Secretary Gabriel Escobar and the Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Further findings by THE Frontliner Magazine of a legal contract between McGinnis Lochridge LLP and the Government of Republika Srpska, dated December 23, 2019, adds a new layer of intrigue. This contract, which stipulates monthly payments of $80,000 to the law firm for advising and representing Republika Srpska in international legal matters, casts a spotlight on the familial connection between Manuel Escobar, a partner at the firm, and Gabriel Escobar, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.” wrote Xhymshiti.

In the article, Xhymshiti added that “This revelation is particularly poignant given Gabriel Escobar’s critical role in the delicate Kosovo-Serbia dialogue. Although alleged family ties do not inherently equate to conflicts of interest, in the nuanced realm of diplomacy, they can engender perceptions of bias, calling into question the impartiality necessary in such sensitive negotiations.”

However, these claims made by Vudi Xhymshiti have been denied by the U.S. State Department in a written response to Sbunker, who labeled them as false. “These allegations made by Vudi Xhymshiti are verifiably false. Deputy Assistant Secretary Escobar’s wife has never received funds from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia. Nor does DAS Escobar have any familial relation with the purported partner at Texas law firm McGinnis Lochridge LLP. It is irresponsible to publish such falsehoods.” stated the U.S. State Department.

Additionally, Additionally, the U.S. State Department stated that they encourage any journalist to check the facts before spreading offensive and unfounded rumors. They added that, regarding this general issue, disinformation poses an extraordinary threat to democratic societies. It poisons social discourse, exacerbates divisions, and represents a national security threat to the United States and our allies and partners, they emphasized.

*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.