Albania pays tribute to US Senator John McCain

Tirana, Albania | Aug 24 (Tirana Echo) – Albanian political representatives have paid tribute to US Senator John McCain, who died last night at the age 81.

As tributes across the world have poured in for Republican Senator John McCain, who died yesterday aged 81, Albania’s politicians and social commentators have paid their respect to the US Senator, highlighting his dedication to the region.

Senator John McCain lived his life as an uninterrupted battle for values which are embodied in the existence of the United States. He was also a good friend of Albania with whom we have cooperated and shared similar thoughts. Thank you for all and rest in peace Senator.” – wrote Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama.

Albania’s President Ilir Meta said the death of john McCain was sad news for him and for all Albanians.

He served freedom and human rights across the world and especially in the Balkans. Senator McCain was one of the strongest supporters of the Kosovo cause and its freedom and independence. He became one of the strongest supporters of the NATO membership for Albania and our entire region, this is why all Albanians feel gratitude today.”  – said Meta.

Meanwhile, former PM and Democratic Party heavyweight Sali Berisha called McCain a valued friend of Albanians.

Since 1992 and onwards I have had the honor to meet and talk on numerous occasions with Senator John McCain. He is a great friend of the Albanian nation, of Albania and of Kosovo. My most sincere condolences to the family and US authorities, with the deepest feelings of gratitude towards this great man.” – said Berisha.

Others across social networks and news platforms also paid tribute to McCain.

This is a very sad day! America lost a hero. The world just lost one of the most influential leaders since World War II. And I lost the person whose life inspired me the most! RIP, senator McCain! You are my hero!” – said Edlira Gjoni, a political commentator and a trainee of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University, where she has spent this last year.

Senator John McCain was a loved person for many Albanians as he often supported the Albanian national causes on several occasions, in the US and in Europe also.

Last year in April, Senator John McCain visited Albania, where he highlighted the U.S – Albania military partnership, the importance of the country’s judicial reform, and met with representatives of MEK, a group of Iranian dissidents relocated in Albania from Camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq, after their safety could no longer be guaranteed in Iraq.

Following the visit, Senator McCain published an article calling on the US to increase its presence across the Balkans, amid growing Russian efforts to “assert its malign influence in the region and to prevent the nations of southeastern Europe from choosing their own futures”.

“After two world wars, the United States made a commitment to a Europe that is whole, free and at peace. We did so because a generation of statesmen recognized that American leadership was essential to achieving peace and prosperity in Europe, which was and still is in the national security interests of United States. We must be prepared to uphold this commitment again in southeastern Europe, for the lessons of history are clear: We ignore this region at our own peril.” – said Senator McCain.

John McCain was the Vietnam war hero who became one of America’s most high-profile politicians. He was the Republican Presidential candidate in the US elections in 2000 against President Obama and during the past year he has been a firm critic of President Donald Trump.

He died after suffering from an aggressive form of brain cancer, called a glioblastoma, for which he had been treated systematically since 2017.

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