Dashnor Dervishi: My three great moments, as the first ambassador of Albania in Israel!
Dashnor Dervishi is one of Albania’s most famous diplomats and its first ambassador to Israel
By Dash Frashëri, publisher of “Israel Sot”
Dashnor Dervishi is one of the most famous diplomats of Albania and the first ambassador to Israel (1998-2003), but also one of the first-hand contributors to the promotion, acceleration and establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel, which were officially formalized between the two countries, 30 years ago, on August 19, 1991.
During the time that Dervishi was serving as Albania’s ambassador to Rome, he and his Israeli counterpart in Rome, Mordechai Drory, pushed official Tirana and Jerusalem to re-establish relations between the two countries, which were officially recognized on April 16, 1949. when the Albanian government, then led by Enver Hoxha, recognized the State of Israel by means of a note.
On March 16, 1991 in Rome, a meeting between the Albanian ambassador to Italy, Dashnor Dervishi, and his Israeli counterpart, Mordechai Drori, crystallized the geopolitical future between the two countries.
Ambassador Dervishi, today the Chairman of the Board of the University “Luarasi”, when asked by the online newspaper “Israel Sot”, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations, recalls those moments.
“I would like to divide my impressions of Israel into two categories. They are related to the preparatory spirit for diplomatic relations and the length of my stay in Israel. Regarding the preparatory side, I would like to single out two main moments.
First, is the meeting with the Israeli Ambassador to Rome, Mordechai Drory, with whom we played an important role in promoting, accelerating and establishing diplomatic relations, at the time when we had the duty of ambassador to Rome as representatives of the respective countries.
The second moment is when, in December 1998, he left for Israel, for the first time with the authority of the Albanian representative in Israel, to open our embassy there. “Efforts were made to open the embassy, and the very interesting and exciting moment of presenting the credentials to the then President of Israel, Ezer Weizman”, said during the interview Ambassador Dervishi.
Ambassador Dashnor Dervishi, appointed by Prime Minister Fatos Nano and decreed by President Rexhep Mejdani, visited Israel for the first time in December 1998, staying only ten days, to prepare for the opening of the embassy in Tel Aviv. The ceremony of handing over the Credentials to the President of the State of Israel, Ezer Weizman took place on December 8, 1998.
The opening of the Albanian embassy in Israel was highly praised, as it was a success for Israel’s foreign policy.
Dervish’s five-year term as Albania’s ambassador to Israel coincided with some key moments, both in internal developments in Israel, in the Middle East region, but also the contribution of the State of Israel to the suffering Kosovar population. Serbian repression and genocide, known as the “Kosovo War”.
Dervishi himself singles out three key moments.
“As for the time of my stay as ambassador to Israel, there are many events, stories in our activity. Three are the highlights I experienced in Israel.
The first moment was the period of 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001, when between Israel and Palestine, and other countries of the Arab world, the efforts in the peace process were maximized, when in the domestic and international opinion a hope was created that something could to be done”, he stressed.
The then Israeli Knesset (Parliament), in a plenary session, under the influence of the Chief Rabbi, Israel Meir Lau, condemned the Yugoslav Government for the genocide committed, expressing an official protest against the Yugoslav ambassador. At the beginning of the conflict, it was one of the first military planes to arrive in Tirana with humanitarian aid from Israel. Before the departure of the plane, a small ceremony took place, which was also attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ariel Sharon.
“The second important moment was the large, mass demonstrations in Israel, the people of Israel, in protest against the genocide of Serbs against the population of Kosovo. The first aid left from Israel in support of Kosovar refugees in Albania and in the area of Macedonia. “Also, the hospitality of a considerable number of Kosovars who came to overcome the crisis period after the bombings in Serbia“, said former Ambassador Dervishi.
During April and May 1999, four special aircraft were launched with the aid collected from this awareness campaign. The Israeli government took the decision to set up one of its largest military hospitals on Macedonian territory, on the border with Kosovo, while responding to a request to house over 200 Kosovars in Israel over a six-month period.
“The third, very interesting moment that I experienced in Israel was the year 2000. When it was the millennium, the millennium celebrations, when peace was established between Israel and terrorist organizations, political opponents and the Israeli military. Ceasefire more precisely. “When it was seen in Israel how beautiful it was, it was said that it should be permanent”, said Dervishi for the newspaper “Israel Sot”.
After Dashnor Dervishi, we have these Albanian ambassadors to Israel: Bashkim Dino, Tonin Gjuraj, Qirjako Kureta, Bujar Skendo, Bardhyl Canaj (on duty).