Observation of 4th death anniversary of President Boris Trajkovski

Skopje, February 26 (MIA) - Four years have passed since the tragic King Air plane crash in which President Boris Trajkovski and eight other people were killed.

Trajkovski died on February 26, 2004 in a plane crash en route to an economic conference in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The aircraft crashed in very poor weather (thick fog and heavy rain) on a mountainside in southeastern Herzegovina, near the villages of Huskovici and Rotimlja some eight miles (15km) southeast of Mostar. Eight other people were also aboard but none survived the impact.

Besides Boris Trajkovski, other persons killed were: Trajkovski's cabinet advisors, Dimka Ilkovska-Boskovic, Risto Blazevski, Anita Lozanovska, as well as Mile Krstevski from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; two security guards, Boris Velinov and Ace Bozinovski; and the plane's two pilots, Marko Markovski and Branko Ivanovski.

One-year investigation led by Macedonian and Bosnian investigative organs showed that the cause of crash are mistakes made by the crew in approaching procedure to Mostar Airport in complex meteorological conditions of thick fog and cloudiness.

Interior Ministry requested from Public Prosecution Office to reopen the investigate for the plane crash which was refused with an explanation that the decision was passed based on careful, reliable and overall analysis of all evidences collected immediately after the plane crash and that there are no new evidences for reopening the investigation.

- We do not reject the possibility of reopening the investigation for the plane crash in which President Boris Trajkovski and eight crewmembers were killed four years ago in Mostar, Interior Minister Gordana Jankulovska said Monday.

She said that all information in regard to the crash is being reviewed continously in the Interior Ministry.

The Boris Trajkovski International Foundation marked the death anniversary with several events.

The Foundation organised the third annual International Youth Leadership Forum on Sunday, which was attended by young leaders, friends, politicians and persons from the business sphere of Macedonia and the world, and on Monday the conference "Countries in the Adriatic Charter - High Time for NATO accession."

Macedonia lost a leader in the true sense of the word. I am proud to have lived with the man who dedicated his life to his people. He believed in European Macedonia within regional cooperation and unity, said Monday Vilma Trajkovska at the opening of the third international leadership forum titled "Adriatic Charter Countries - High Time for NATO Accession", held on occasion of the fourth anniversary from the tragic death of President Boris Trajkovski.

Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski addressed the forum - organized by foundation "Boris Trajkovski" - stressing that eyes of the global public are currently turned towards the region.

"The vision of President Trajkovski was comprised of Macedonia's integration in Euro-Atlantic institutions, along with the faith that political will, compromise and peaceful policy could result in the highest ideals of democratic, multiethnic and prosperous society, which all citizens feel as their home", emphasized PM Gruevski.

The fourth death anniversary of the President Trajkovski will be marked by Strumica and Petric (Bulgaria) alpinists who organise international mountain march on Belasica.

State officials, representatives of institutions and associations, citizens, will visit the grave of President Trajkovski today.

Boris Trajkovski (1956-2004)

Born in the village of Monospitovo, in the municipality of Murtino, near the Macedonian town of Strumica, from a Methodist family, Trajkovski graduated in 1980 with a degree in law from the St. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje. He subsequently specialized in commercial and employment law and made several visits to the United States, where he studied theology to become a Methodist lay minister.

President Boris Trajkovski was inaugurated as the second President of the Republic of Macedonia on December 15, 1999.

Prior to his election, he served as deputy minister of foreign relations, a post held since December 21, 1998.  As Deputy Minister, he was responsible for reaching out to the international community on behalf of Macedonia.  When the Kosovo crisis erupted in March 1999, Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski appointed him as the government’s liaison between the international community and the Republic of Macedonia. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Minister, he voluntarily served as president of the commission for foreign affairs for VMRO-DPMNE, the largest opposition party in the country.

Boris Trajkovski was killed in a tragic plane accident on February 26th, 2004, along with eight others, near Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was 47.

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