Tony Blair’s Albania Mission Fails to Take off

“We remain in contact [with the Albanian government] and Mr Blair would of course still be happy to help, as both Albania and the region mean a huge amount to him, but there is no contract,” Cirian Ward a spokesperson for Blair told Balkan Insight.

“Any help would be done at no cost to the Albanian government,” Ward added.

Endri Fuga, a media adviser to Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, confirmed that the relationship with Blair had yet to be “institutionalized.”

“We respect Mr Blair for his achievements as prime minister and above all for the positive role he played in the region,” Fuga said. “Prime Minister Rama is in continued contact with Blair and if there will be cooperation we will make it public,” he added.    

Although Blair’s popularity in Britain has taken a nosedive since the UK's involvement in the Iraq war, he is still revered by many Albanians for his forward role in Kosovo.

Together with former US president Bill Clinton, he spearheaded a 78-day NATO air war in 1999 against the forces of the former Yugoslav strongman Slobodan Milosevic.

The campaign terminated Serbian rule over Kosovo, where the population is overwhelmingly ethnic Albanian.

On October 4, 2013, Blair landed in Tirana to attend a cabinet meeting with Rama, who presented the former British leader as his newest adviser.

Rama said that Blair had come to Tirana to help set up a "delivery unit", with the help of the World Bank.

 “Prime Minister Blair is at our service personally but totally voluntarily,” Rama said. “We have discussed with Prime Minister Blair and the World Bank to set our short, medium and long-term priorities,” Rama added.

Blair explained that he would be working...

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