President Jahjaga’s speech at the “Darka e Lames-Lama Dinner”

We are together here tonight, around the table, as our ancestors did once upon a time: to raise a toast to the harvested goods that God has given to us this year. Since times immemorial, the end of the harvest period has always brought joy and a joint feast-the Lama Dinner- where proud farmers brought their best food at the common table.

Honourable representatives of the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo
Honourable representatives of the Embassies and International Missions accredited in Kosovo
Honourable representatives of religious communities, representatives of the academic and cultural sector,
Honourable representatives of the families of the martyrs,
Honourable businessmen and members of the business community,
Honourable guests,
 
We are together here tonight, around the table, as our ancestors did once upon a time: to raise a toast to the harvested goods that God has given to us this year. Since times immemorial, the end of the harvest period has always brought joy and a joint feast-the Lama Dinner- where proud farmers brought their best food at the common table.
 
The Lama Dinner is a feast of Dardanian Illyric tribe, and of some other ancient nations, a by now traditional feast in our families. It was preserved and transferred from one generation to the next, as a feast of joy for the end of seasonal activities, collection of grain, fruits and all other agricultural products, time when each family shows their delight to next year’s bread and wishes that all these goods are consumed in good health and harmony until the next harvest.
 
Let us then, enjoy this dinner, a dinner prepared with this year’s rewards of the Land of our country. Every single inch of the Land of Kosovo is a holly one and such is every single individual that protects and cultivates this land.
 
In all developed and civilised countries, agriculture was the crucial sector that initiated the economic development. Agricultural producers are the most vital part of the economic resources of each country. They give the image to the national culture of the countries and people. They are the pride of each nation,
 
And so are we today, proud of the grapes and wine of Kosovo, of the Kosovo’s bees and honey, of the milk and cheese of Kosovo and we thank all those who have worked and continue to work incessantly for the wellbeing of this wonderful country.
 
Institutions of the country are well aware of the challenges that the farmers and producers in Kosovo are being faced with, during these first years of our new country.
 
We do know that to arrive to such a day as today, when we are exhibiting the fruits of our work and sweat is not easy. We are also aware of our endeavours to be able to place our products at European and World markets. I assure you that the institutions of Kosovo are doing all that is possible to improve the conditions in order to make it easier to run our businesses, with the continuous support of the institutions of Kosovo.
 
Honourable participants,
 
Each country and each nation, in various stages of its development, has shown in various ways and manners its national patriotism, both political and economic. The time has come that the citizens of Kosovo show a new type of patriotic spirit- by producing and consuming as much as possible the locally grown products and increasing the solidarity with each other, as fundamental values of our society.
 
This does not in any way mean demeaning of foreign goods, or compromise in the quality of the product we consume. But, we must lower our dependency on imports. Kosovar products are gaining in quality and are becoming more competitive with the imported products. Thus, our producers are rightly asking for a widening of their presence in the European markets, are rightly asking for the visa liberalisation. Kosovo is justified in its request for integration into European institutions, because Kosovo is a European Nation and Kosovar products have European quality.
 
We are aware that our road to EU membership is not an easy one and that we will be facing many challenges on the way, but this is a voluntary choice of the direction of our future, which has no other alternative. There is a lot of work ahead of us, and there are some difficult decisions that we have to reach, but we are not alone on this journey.
 
Last week our country was visited by to powerful world leaders, two eternal friends of the Kosovar people: the US Secretary of State, Mrs Hilary Clinton and EU’s High representative for foreign policy and security, Baroness Ashton. They brought to Kosovo a clear message for the Euro-Atlantic future of Kosovo and reconfirmed once again our partnership with the European Union and everlasting friendship with the United States of America. This was a historic visit, at an important moment for our country, as we are about to start the Stabilisation-Association Agreement negotiations with EU.
 
We, as leaders of the country, have the responsibility upon us to lead the country forward, to work together in order to find the best and most suitable solutions for our citizens and for a brightest possible future, for the generations that will come after us.
 
I congratulate you on the hard work that you have undertaken this year and I pray that the fruits of your work- the agricultural goods of Kosovo- may increase in the coming year.
 
Let us pray to God to protect our land and to increase our wealth.
God bless all of you,
God bless all the friends of Kosovo,
God bless Kosovo and its people.
Thank You!