- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- All Balkan Countries
Tirana’s political elite on Wednesday offered condolences for the death of the ethnic Albanian leader in Macedonia who died in Skopje aged 64, after suffering a stroke a week ago.
In a telegram sent to the family of the late Arben Xhaferi, the Albanian President, Bujar Nishani, praised a visionary leader who will be missed by all Albanians and peope of good will. “Arben Xhaferi's ideals were the service of Albanians and democracy,” Nishani wrote.
In a message on Twitter, the Albanian Socialist opposition leader, Edi Rama, recalled an atypical Albanian who spoke the truth with intellectual courage.
“His death is big loss for the Albanian world, which can be measured only by the virtues that Xhaferi embodied,” Rama said.
Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha praised Xhaferi as a visionary and a tireless advocate of Albanian rights in Macedonia.
“With the passing of Arben Xhaferi, our intellectual world and the political elite of the nation lost one of its most illustrious figures of the past decades,” Berisha wrote.
The honorary president of the Democratic Party of Albanians, DPA, Xhaferi was born in Tetovo in 1948.
A graduate of Belgrade University, he spent a better part of his life in Pristina, Kosovo, where he worked as a culture editor.
Xhaferi led the DPA from its formation in 1997 until 2007 when he stepped down to be replaced by his long-standing political associate, Menduh Thaci.
His decision to step down was largely a result of his worsening struggle with Parkinson’s disease.
During his political carrier, Xhaferi was a passionate advocate of the rights of ethnic Albanians who make up about a quarter of the population of Macedonia.
The Serbian paramilitary who became a key prosecution witness at his former comrades’ trial for war crimes in Kosovo says he had to speak out about the brutal massacres his unit committed.