Albanian officials have approved Vele Trpevski as the new Macedonian ambassador to Albania, the Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed. Trpevski’s nomination was met with controversy due to his young age and apparent inexperience in diplomatic work.
Skopje said Tirana approved the proposal on Wednesday, adding that there are several further steps that must be taken before Trpevski takes office.
After revealing that the 28 year-old Trpevski, currently employed as advisor in the Macedonian parliament, was the government’s choice for the important ambassador post in neighbouring Tirana, media in both countries expressed doubt about his credentials.
One of the loudest critics of the nominee was the Albanian TV station “Top Chanel”, which said that Trpevski’s only asset for the post is his reported knowledge of the Albanian language, which he lists in his CV.
Top Chanel said that the move was a provocation from Skopje, and estimated that the fact that the Albanian president, Bamir Topi, had kept silent on the matter was an indication of his disapproval of Skopje’s choice. The president has the final word on accepting ambassadors.
Trpevski’s CV, posted on the parliament’s web site, mentions no experience in diplomacy. It says that he has a university degree in business administration and that he speaks English, Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, English, Italian and Albanian.
Trpevski’s work at the parliament is his second employment. Previously he was employed at the Macedonian Cultural Center-Sterling Heights, in Michigan, USA.
Local media in both countries expressed doubt that his reported membership in the ruling Macedonia VMRO DPMNE party was decisive when nominating him to the post.
Albania and Macedonia are neighbours who officially nurture good political relations. Both countries have walked the same path towards NATO and EU integration. Albania became a NATO member state in 2009, while Macedonia is still waiting to join, and both countries are working on their EU integration bids.
The ethnic Albanian population in Macedonia, which makes up one quarter of the country’s population, is seen as an additional connection between the two states.