Former Italian Prime Minister D'Alema reflects on meeting with Kosovo's Ibrahim Rugova

10 Qershor 2024, 16:40Kosovo & Region TEMA

Former Italian Prime Minister D'Alema reflects on meeting with

Pristina, June 10, 2024 — Today, on the 25th anniversary of Kosovo's liberation, former Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema recalled his meeting with Kosovo's late president Ibrahim Rugova, highlighting the significance of Rugova's role in the region's history.

D'Alema emphasized that Rugova's commitment to peace and stability remains crucial for the Balkans, even today.

The former Italian PM shared that he had the pleasure of meeting Rugova in Rome on May 5, 1999, amidst the tumultuous backdrop of Kosovo's ethnic strife. Rugova had been subjected to virtual house arrest in Yugoslavia and was granted permission to leave the country following NATO's military intervention. The meeting was seen as a key moment in Kosovo peace negotiations, with Rugova's presence in Italy signaling a potential shift in the political landscape of the region.

D'Alema praised Rugova's unwavering dedication to his people, stating that his sacrifices should not be forgotten. Rugova's peaceful approach to Kosovo's independence had been overshadowed by the aggressive stance of the Kosovo Liberation Army.

According to D'Alema, the meeting with Rugova was an extraordinary opportunity to ensure Kosovo's stability, particularly during the NATO bombing campaign. He recalled that Rugova believed that Kosovo's independence would stabilize the region, and he expressed gratitude for the support of the Italian government during this time.

Rugova's legacy extends beyond the war, as he was re-elected as Kosovo's president after the conflict. His commitment to peace and stability continues to inspire the people of Kosovo and the region as a whole.


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