President of the Republic of Albania, 2002-2007
Born December 1, 1929, in the city of Shkodra. Graduated from high school in Tirana. Participated in the Anti-Fascist National Liberation Movement since 1942.
After liberation, in December 1945 he was sent for studies in the USSR at the School of Military Engineering, Moscow and Petersburg. After finishing school he was initially a commander of the platoon and later as a lecturer at the United Officers School in Tirana. In 1951 he was an instructor in the Ministry of Defense's Directorate of Engineering. In September 1952 he was sent to study at the Academy of Military Engineering in Moscow. He completed his studies at the Academy with a gold medal in 1958. After the academy, in 1958 he was sent at the Directorate of Genius. In 1966 he was appointed commander of the Brigade of Heavy Bridges in Kavaja, where he served until 1971, at which time he was appointed Director of the Directorate of Engineering and later Fortification in the Ministry of Defense. In May 1981, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Defense. During this time he completed his studies in the Higher Course of the General Staff of the Albanian Army.
In October 1982, for political reasons, he was promoted to the post of Deputy Minister and was appointed Chief of Engineer of the Burrel Infantry Brigade, where he remained until December 1984, when he retired.
In December 1991 he was appointed Minister of Defense in the Technical Government until April 1992. With the victory of the Democratic Party he resides in the Ministry of Defense initially with the position of Adviser to the Minister, later as Deputy Minister of Defense for Defense Policy, until August 1997, and after retired. In June 1994 he founded the Albanian Atlantic Association and served as President of this civilian structure until 2002, when he was elected President of the Republic of Albania, until 2007, when he retired for a third time.
He is the author of numerous articles and studies published in the Albanian and foreign press on the problems of military, defense policy, regional security and developments in Kosovo. In 2004 he published the book "KOSOVO Between War and Peace"; in 2008 published the book “Kujtime-Vol.1st -"In the Footsteps of Memories"; in 2009 publishes the book Kujtime - Vol. 3rd - "Between Nano and Berisha". In 2012 he publishes the second volume "In the Footsteps of Memories". He has published 5 volumes of Speeches, Messages and Interviews during 2002-2005. He has continuously published and continues to publish various articles and interviews in the Albanian and foreign press on political developments in Albania and international relations.
He holds the title Doctor of Military Sciences, awarded in 1979.
During his activity he was declared: Honorary Citizen in many cities of Albania and Honorary Citizen of Bari (Italy).
Holds the title “Doctor Honoris Causa” by Marin Barleti University in Tirana (December 2015), and by ISPE College in Kosovo (March 2016).
He is decorated with: The Order of St. Michael and St. George (Awarded by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II 2003); Prizren League Gold Medal (Awarded by the President of Kosovo - 2004), Order of King Tomislav (Awarded by the President of Croatia - 2007), Order of Merit of the Grand Cross (Awarded by the President of Poland - 2006), Order King "Great Vyrtutas" (Awarded by the President of Lithuania - 2007), Grand Prize Gold Medal by the President of Austria (July 2019), WWII Veteran Medals (Awarded by the Presidents of Russia - 2000, 2005, 2010), Medal "For Military Service", Red Star Order, Skanderbeg Class II and III Order, Military Service Order, Liberation Medal, 10th Anniversary Army Medal, Ministry of Defense Medal of Gratitude (October 14, 2014).