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MICHAEL S. LEE ‘COMMITTEES: penn ae saa aa United States Senate earns seni, WASHINGTON, DC 20510-2404 aoe JOINT ECONOMIC ‘couMiriee January 17,2017 The Honorable Jess L. Baily The Ambassador of the United States of America Embassy of the United States of America Str. "Samoilova" Nr.21 1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedo: Dear Ambassador Baily, As you are keenly aware, the United States Senate plays a large role in not only Congressional oversight - preventing waste, fraud, and abuse of US Government resources - but also in statecraft and foreign policy through reviewing treaties, as well as confirming individuals to top leadership roles, With these responsibilities in mind, 1 am inquiring into the role the US Mission to Macedonia plays in the distribution of US foreign aid in Macedonia, the ongoing and sometimes tumultuous Macedonian political landscape, and in shaping Macedonia’s media environment and civil society. It is important that this nation of 2,1 million, situated in a historically turbulent region, continues developing with as litle outside political influence as possible. This is a critical time in Macedonia as their elected officials negotiate a new government in the aftermath of the parliamentary elections finally concluded this past December. Unfortunately, I have received credible reports that, over the past few years, the US Mission to Macedonia has actively intervened in the party politics of Macedonia, as well as in the shaping of its media environment and civil society, often favoring groups of one political persuasion over another. I find these reports discouraging and, if true, highly problematic. In this regard, I respectfully request you answer the following questions: 1. Please describe the role that you and other persons associated with the US Mission to Macedonia played in the discussions that led to the scheduling of the parliamentary elections for April 24, 2016; the discussions that led to the postponement to June 5; and the postponement of the parliamentary elections to December 11. I hope in these dialogues all parties were consulted equally. 2. Has the US Mission to Macedonia selected the Open Society Foundations as the major implementer of USAID projects in Macedonia? And, is the Open Society Foundations perceived to have political bias by Macedonians? In this regard I would appreciate further information about the process by which projects and needs for Macedonia are assessed by US officials in country before requests for proposals are written and grant recipients or program implementers selected. 3. How many media outlets in Macedonia have received US Government funding and what are the names of these entities? Have you taken any action to influence the operations of these or any other media organizations? If so, what and why? ‘Though Macedonia is a small country, I value the close relationship that has been formed between the United States and Macedonia over the 25 years since it achieved independence. The US is encouraged by Macedonia’s political and economic development and appreciates Macedonia contributing to many of our country’s foreign policy priorities, I hope that as our own country transitions power, we are able to maintain a positive and unbiased relationship that prioritizes mutual interests over political agendas, To succeed, we must avoid what some see as tendencies towards ideological imperialism and interference in the natural, democratic development of country. Thope to receive from you accurate and prompt information in response to these questions no later than two weeks from the date of this letter. I also would weleome a ‘meeting to discuss these matters the next time you are in Washington, D.C. Sincerely, Michael 8. Lee United States Senator