Macedonian Leader's Peace Efforts Recalled

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 27, 2004 ( John Paul II acknowledged the service to peace offered by President Boris Trajkovski of Macedonia, who died Thursday in an air accident.

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A papal telegram, published today by the Vatican press office, mentioned «President Trajkovski’s resolute commitment to peace,» hoping that it «will inspire the nation to continue steadfastly upon the path of dialogue, mutual respect and reconciliation.»

Vatican Radio described Trajkovski as an «unusual president for the Balkans,» emphasizing «his notable predisposition for dialogue.»

Balkans political analyst Federico Eichberg said on Vatican Radio that Trajkovski was a Methodist, and was a great promoter of good relations with the Orthodox, Catholic and Muslim communities of his republic.

Eichberg highlighted Trajkovski’s example of assistance to Kosovo refugees during the period of the campaign launched by Slobodan Milosevic’s regime.

Trajkovski was on his way to Bosnia and Herzegovina when the plane he was riding in crashed.

The Macedonian president was traveling with the head of his Cabinet, Dimka Boshkovic, his adviser Risto Blazevski, and several security agents. Trajkovski was elected president in November 1999 and took office the following month.

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