|Ilir Rexhep Meta|
|Speaker of the Parliament of Albania|
September 10, 2013
|Preceded by||Jozefina Topalli|
|Prime Minister of Albania|
October 29, 1999 – February 22, 2002
|Preceded by||Pandeli Majko|
|Succeeded by||Pandeli Majko|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
July 31, 2002 – July 18, 2003
|Prime Minister||Fatos Nano|
|Preceded by||Arta Dade|
|Succeeded by||Luan Hajdaraga (Acting)|
|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
September 17, 2009 – September 17, 2010
|Prime Minister||Sali Berisha|
|Preceded by||Lulzim Basha|
|Succeeded by||Edmond Haxhinasto|
March 24, 1969 |
Ilir Rexhep Meta (born March 24, 1969) is an Albanian politician who was Prime Minister of Albania from 1999 to 2002. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2002 to 2003 and again from 2009 to 2010, and he has been Speaker of the Albanian Parliament since 2013. He also held positions as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Trade and Energy, in both left-wing and right-wing governments.
As a member of the Socialist Party of Albania (PS), Meta was Prime Minister from 1999 to 2002. He subsequently founded the Socialist Movement for Integration (LSI) in 2004 and continues to lead the party. From 2009 to 2013, the LSI was a member of the governing coalition with the Democratic Party of Albania.
Early life and education
Meta was born in March 24, 1969 in Skrapar . He graduated from the Faculty of Economy, Political Economy branch, of Tirana University, where he also pursued his post-graduate studies.
Ilir Meta has been lecturer at the Economic Faculty of Tirana University. He has also lectured at several renowned universities and academies overseas, including Harvard University, London School of Economics and the European Academy in Berlin.
Ilir Meta speaks Albanian, English and Italian. He is married to Monika Kryemadhi. They have two daughters and a son, Bora, Era and Besar.
During the previous parliamentary legislature, Mr. Meta served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Trade and Energy of the Republic of Albania. Prior to that, he held the Chairmanship of the Parliamentary Commission of European Integration.
Ilir Meta has been engaged in politics since 1990 as an active participant in the students’ movement against communism that brought political pluralism in Albania.
Since 1992 he has been elected Member of Parliament in all legislatures and has been an active member of several Parliamentary Commissions. From 1996 to 1997 he was Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Albanian During the period of October 1998 – October 1999, Ilir Meta held the office of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Coordination, as well as that of State Secretary for European Integration in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs during March – October 1998.
In November 1999, Ilir Meta was chosen Prime Minister of the Republic of Albania and after the general parliamentary elections he won a second mandate, lasting from September 2001 until February 2002. During this period, Albania engaged in a range of important reforms, joining the Process of Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA) with the European Union. From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Ilir Meta was elected member of the International Commission on the Balkans, chaired by the former Italian Prime Minister, Giuliano Amato. The Commission drafted a series of important recommendations towards the integration of the Western Balkan countries into the European Union.
During the period of 2009 – 2011, Ilir Meta served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and later in the position of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy, Trade and Energy. He was an early and strong campaigner for the liberalization of visas with the Schengen area, which was accomplished in 2010 to the benefit of all citizens of Albania. He remains one of the strongest campaigners and advocates of regional and European integration for all countries of the Western Balkans, as a means to further strengthen stability and peace in the region. In 2011, while serving as Deputy Prime Minister, Meta was involved in a corruption scandal which ended with an acquittal, after the Supreme Court of Albania found the evidence in the case to be insufficient.
Ilir Meta resigned from all posts on 14 January 2011, following an alleged corruption scandal, after a video was released allegedly showing him discussing a €700,000 bribe with former economy minister Dritan Prifti and boasting about his influence on the Supreme Court. One year later, Meta was acquitted by the Supreme Court for lack of evidence, amidst criticism from the Socialist opposition and international experts.
In March 2012, Meta received the "Most Positive Personality for 2010 in Foreign Policy" AWARD by International Institute IFIMES in Ljubljana. The award was presented to Meta by former Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, at the same time Honorary President of IFIMES.
Meta was praised as the most positive political personality for 2010, when he served as deputy prime minister and foreign minister for his positive and concrete contribution in exercising the foreign policy of Albania and for his personal and institutional influence in strengthening good regional and neighborly relations amongst the countries of the Western Balkans. IFIMES praised Meta's vision at the head of Albanian diplomacy as a political personality with a regional weight and with a clear purpose to create a more open, positive and integrated region.
|Foreign Minister of Albania
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