North Carolina State Representative Jason Saine had a visitor from out-of-town last week — way out of town.
Saine hosted Akan Ismaili, the Ambassador from Kosovo, on Wednesday and Thursday for a series of meetings with other state representatives and senators and county commissioners from Cleveland and Buncombe counties, according a press release from Saine’s office.
Saine also held a breakfast meeting with other leaders to shed light on the ambassador “and the people of Kosovo, their struggle for independence and establishment of a new country,” the release said.
Ismaili worked in the telecommunications industry as a CEO before becoming Kosovo’s ambassador to the U.S. in May 2012.
Ismaili co-founded Internet Project Kosovo immediately after NATO bombing in the country ended in 1999, the release said. The nonprofit group has been credited with bringing the internet to Kosovo and, after a split in 2001, the Ismaili-led IPKO.net “expanded access to broadband, mobile, fixed telephone and television in Kosovo.”
Ismaili began his diplomatic work as a translator for U.S. diplomats at the beginning of the war and was evacuated to Vienna shortly before the conflict began.
He is planning another trip to North Carolina later in the year.