Cherie Blair in Albania / Tony Blair in Kosova
Cherie Blair Begins Visit to Albania
Tirana | 08 July 2010 |
Former British first lady Cherie Blair arrived on Thursday morning at Tirana’s Mother Theresa International Airport on a visit to Albania, at the invitation of the controversial Albanian oil tycoon Rezart Taci.
The former British first lady touched down in Tirana on that same day that her husband, former British prime minister Tony Blair, is to begin a two day visit to Kosovo, where he is expected to get a hero’s welcome due to his role during the NATO intervention there in the late 1990s. Cherie Blair will later join her husband in Kosovo.
Cherie Blair is expected to hold a meeting with the women employees of Alsat TV, a Tirana TV station recently acquired by the Taci Oil Group.
Blair is also expected to hold meetings with Albanian first lady Teuta Topi, Prime Minister Sali Berisha, his wife Liri Berisha and opposition leader Edi Rama.
Taci is known as one of the Tirana businessmen who belong to Prime Minister Berisha's inner circle. His company, Taci Oil International, has spent millions of euros organising charity football matches, with the proceeds donated to a children's charity headed by Berisha's wife.
He currently is on trial, together with two bodyguards, for the alleged assault of publisher Mero Baze in November, following a series of negative articles from Baze’s now defunct daily newspaper TemA. The businessman has denied taking part in the attack.