By Beqir Sina/
New York City: Joe DioGuardi, a good friend of Senator John McCain since they served together in the US House of Representatives in the 1980s, met with the Senator following his visit this past weekend to Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine, which has been consumed by anti-government protests for more than a month.
Facebook has published a photograph of former Republican Congressman DioGuardi and Senator McCain with a caption that reads: “DioGuardi meets Senator John McCain in Manhattan at a reception at the St. Regis Hotel (on his way back from the Ukraine to Washington) on December 16, to discuss political corruption in Kosova and Albania and the need for full equality for Albanians in their ancestral lands in Macedonia, Montenegro, and Presheva.”
“Even in 1998, when we had problems with Milosevic,” DioGuardi said, “McCain did everything that we asked of him to the benefit of the Albanian people, including calling for the arming of the KLA.”
Several times John McCain intervened in the US Senate on behalf of the Albanian people. Because of that, the Albanian American Civic League awarded him its “Balkan Peace Award” in the fall of 2006. The award was given shortly after McCain and Senator Charles Schumer introduced the first resolution commending Albanians for saving all of the Jews who either lived in Albania or sought refuge there during the Nazi Holocaust.
During Senator McCain’s first campaign for the US presidency, he joined the Civic League at a rally outside the Hyatt Regency in Manhattan in February 2000, calling for the release of all Kosovar Albanians in Serbian prisons. A year later, he used his influence to ask the administration for an investigation into the murder of the Bytici brothers, who were apprehended by the Serbian police when they tried to assist a Roma friend by bringing him from postwar Kosova to Serbia and were ultimately killed in a police training center in Petrovo Selo.