SPEECH OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO, MRS.ATIFETE JAHJAGA, AT THE CELEBRATION OF THE BIRTHDAY OF H.M QUEEN ELISABETH II

It is an exceptional honour to gather together here in Republic of Kosovo, in order to celebrate the birthday of Her Majesty, Queen Elisabeth II.

It is an exceptional honour to gather together here in Republic of Kosovo, in order to celebrate the birthday of Her Majesty, Queen Elisabeth II.

This birthday, apart from its symbolism and representation of pride for your country, allows us to, at the same time, reflect upon the friendship and partnership between the United Kingdom and Republic of Kosovo, a relationship formed and shaped during a long battle for survival and freedom of my nation and strengthened along the peace building and the building of our state.

United Kingdom has been and continues to remain a staunch supporter of the independence of Kosovo, of our statehood, of the territorial sovereignty and integrity, and of our consolidation on the international arena. Alongside our other allies, United Kingdom has made great diplomatic and military endeavours in order to help us win our freedom.

The citizens of Kosovo will never forget the Prime Minister Blair’s speech in Chicago when he appealed to the international community not to succumb until it wins the freedom for the people of Kosovo. We will never forget the disembarking of the British Army regiments sporting Red Berets who opened the roads for safe return of hundreds of thousands of refugees to their own homes. Those solders, as well as many thousands of other members of the British Army who served in Kosovo, will be an inseparable part of the history of new Kosovo. You believed in the vision of the citizens of Kosovo towards building of a democratic and multicultural state.

And we have kept this promise. Today, Kosovo is a state of all its citizens, whose rights and freedoms are respected, who live in peace and with dignity. It is a joint success story of the international community and the people of Kosovo.

Of course, we still have a lot to accomplish. Mr. Ambassador, we count on your continuous backing and support in order to help us present the new Kosovo to the rest of the world, to tell the tale of treasures and rich traditions of our country, to show the world that a country shattered by war is paving the road towards a peaceful and sustainable future.

We count on your support at this point when we are undertaking the necessary reforms in order to expedite our integration in European Union and NATO, an aspiration that joins us all together and which has no other alternative.

Please allow me to raise a toast for Her Majesty, for the citizens of your country and for the strong friendship of our two countries.

Thank you!