Hashim Thaci

In 2008 Hashim Thachi declared the independence of Kosovo and became its first prime minster. The 4th President of the Republic of Kosovo, a position he held since Feb 2016.

He was the First President of the Democratic Party of Kosovo and was re-elected until he resigned in 2016 to become President of Kosovo. He’s known for his pro-American policy as well as his past involvement with the KLA.

Early Life

Thaci was born on 24 April 1968 in the village of Buroje, Skenderaj in the Drenica region of Kosovo. He studied at the University of Prishtina and attended Post-graduate studies in the field of Southeast Europe’s History and Political Sciences in the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Political Career

Thaci engaged in the People’s Movement of the Republic of Kosovo (LPK), a political movement of Albanian nationalists who’s support and membership mostly came from Albanian diaspora. They were focused on the liberation of Albanians in Yugoslavia and acted as the main representation of Albanian resistance against Serbian rule until December 1989 when Ibrahim Rugova and associates founded the Democratic League of Kosovo.

KLA

The LPK established the core of what became known as the Kosovo Liberation Army. Thaci progressed through the ranks of the LPK and became one of the founders of the KLA – the political-military organization in Kosovo. By 1997 he was Chief of the Political Directorate of the KLA. In 1997 he was convicted for terrorism associated with his activities in the KLA and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

He chaired the Kosovo delegation in the International conference in Rambouillet, France in February 1999. Known as the ‘voice of reason’ amongst western diplomats, he showed a willingness to accept autonomy for Kosovo within Serbia. After the war ended, he became the Prime Minister of the Provisional Government of Kosovo from 1999 – 2000.

In October 1999, Hashim Thaçi was amongst the founders of the Party of Democratic Progress of Kosovo (PPDK). At the first party convention in 2000, the party changed its name to the Democratic Party of Kosovo, and Hashim Thaçi was elected as the first President of the Party, a position held until 26 February 2016.

It is widely reported that Thaci has links to organised crime during his years with the KLA and that their activities were funded by drug trafficking into western Europe.

Serbia

As the Prime Minister of Kosovo, he led the political dialogue between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia, which in April 2013 resulted with the signing of the Agreement on Normalization of Relations between Kosovo and Serbia. For his engagement for peace and stability, Hashim Thaçi was nominated in 2014 for the Nobel Peace Prize, by American Congressmen and Senators, as well as by representatives for European Parliament.

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