PM nominates former SHISH head as new ambassador to NATO

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 17, 2017 09:34

PM nominates former SHISH head as new ambassador to NATO

Story Highlights

  • Prime Minister Edi Rama said in a television interview the country should make full use of its experienced officials and that Ajazi had competed for another position at NATO but had not gotten it, so the nomination was normal, not part of any deal between the two.

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TIRANA, Nov. 13 – Following the resignation of Albania’s intelligence chief, Visho Ajazi, earlier this month, the government has officially proposed him to be the next ambassador of Albania in NATO.

Prime Minister Edi Rama said in a television interview the country should make full use of its experienced officials and that Ajazi had competed for another position at NATO but had not gotten it, so the nomination was normal, not part of any deal between the two.

Ajazi’s proposal as the new NATO ambassador must be now approved by President Ilir Meta, who had also approved his resignation earlier.

Ajazi’s resignation happened at a time when the relations between yesterday’s allies, Rama’s SP and Meta’ SMI, have changed in a negative way, while Rama and Meta themselves are not in good terms.

The reason the abrupt resignation of the head of State Intelligence Service, the SHISH, raised so many questions to begin with, because it happened in the context of new, heavy, political developments in the country – those of the Tahiri-Habilaj case.

SHISH has been intensively involved in preventive and discovery efforts in the war against cannabis in Albania.

The opposition’s claims that Ajazi’s resignation came as a result of government pressure – because of the involvement of SHISH in the war against drug trafficking and the investigation involving Tahiri.

Ajazi had stayed silent concerning his decision.

Both the head of opposition, Lulzim Basha, and President Ilir Meta, who had only recently supported Ajazi’s continuing service, were not aware of his decision.

“I do not have official information, but a head of SHISH that reports on the ties between the government and the gangs surely cannot be seen positively by Rama,” Basha said on a press conference a couple of weeks back. “I have been made aware of the same thing, the possibility to put pressure on the resigned head of SHISH. I do not have concrete evidence but one thing is certain, an informative service that drafts reports on the involvement of the police and its directors in narcotics cultivation and trafficking like SHISH did for two years, is a thorn on the side of Edi Rama and his narco-state, so the only conclusion is political pressure.”

The new chief of intelligence proposed by Rama to Meta is Helidon Bendo, deputy director of SHISH, but his appointment as head spy has not yet been decreed by Meta.

Ajazi served as head of SHISH for five years, after a decree by then newly appointed President, Bujar Nishani, removed Bahri Shaqiri from his post.

Rama’s Socialist Party, which was then the opposition, criticized Ajazi’s appointment as head of SHISH because of his alleged ties with the DP’s government, which was in power in 2012.

However, during a recent press conference, Rama said that Ajazi’s resignation wasn’t a trade, but rather his own initiative, which he had expressed to Rama in a resignation letter which has been kept private, a long time ago.

Rama added that he does not divide state officials politically, but, as a PM, he primarily thinks of the dignity of the state.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times November 17, 2017 09:34