(Washington, DC--February 26, 2004) RFE/RL President Thomas A. Dine released the following statement today, in reaction to the death of Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski:
"I and my colleagues at RFE/RL are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Boris Trajkovski, the President of Macedonia, who died in a plane crash in the mountains of Bosnia this morning. In a region fraught with national, ethnic, and religious tensions, President Trajkovski was a welcome voice of moderation, compassion, and tolerance.
"Though his life has been tragically cut short at the age of 47, President Trajkovski's wife and children can be proud that he accomplished so much in his short life. It is due largely to his courageous leadership that Macedonia has become a nation of peace, one that is now poised to apply for membership in the European Union.
"I had the honor of meeting President Trajkovski once, and I will miss him greatly. But more importantly, his untimely death is a tremendous loss for the people of Macedonia, and for all of Europe."