THE SPEECH OF THE PRESIDENT ATIFETE JAHJAGA TO MARK THE DAY OF KOSOVO’S SECURITY FORCE

Today we are proud to mark the Day of the Kosovo Security Force, which has become the most respected institution of the Republic of Kosovo due to the tireless work of its members.

Honorable Prime Minister Thaci,
Honorable Minister Ceku,
Honorable Commander of KSF, Lt.-Gen. Kastrati,
Honorable leaders and representatives of the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo,
Ambassadors and heads of international missions in Kosovo,
Honorable families of the members of the Kosovo Security Force,
Officers and soldiers,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Today we are proud to mark the Day of the Kosovo Security Force, which has become the most respected institution of the Republic of Kosovo due to the tireless work of its members. Today we are celebrating our joint success, accomplished with the hard work and sacrifice, but above all we salute the unmatched commitment of the members of this force to serve the citizens of our country and to contribute to peace in Kosovo and in the region.

The outcome of your dedication, success and advancement of the Kosovo Security Force are tangible and they are evident here before us. In a short period of time, the Kosovo Security Force became the most trusted institutions of the Republic of Kosovo by always standing by its citizens, regardless of their background.

Through the Kosovo Security Force – its mission and goal – we have begun a new chapter in our history – one of peace and security for all, aware that the citizens of Kosovo deserve to live in dignity, convinced that without those two components we cannot achieve the kind of progress we are striving for. With the same commitment, unperturbed and confident in our path, we are building our future, we are proving that we are a factor of stability and a success story.

We are building a new vision for our country and our people, a vision for a sustainable force that has a clear and prosperous future.

Kosovo aspires membership in the European Union and NATO. As a country we strive to build and further strengthen our strategic and permanent partnership with the United States of America, because we share the commitment for the values of freedom and democracy.

The Republic of Kosovo is pursuing a policy of good neighborly relations with all the countries. As a state we respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all the other countries. We have enshrined it in our Constitution that Kosovo has no territorial ambitions against other countries, because we are convinced that the time for policies of hegemony, of threat of use of force and ideologies of hatred is up.

For the professionalization of the KSF and the building of its capacities through the training of the new generation of men and women who have joined its ranks, we specifically are thankful to NATO and its peacekeeping force in Kosovo as well as the US National Guard, especially the members of the Iowa National Guard.

Under their supervision, the Kosovo Security Force has not only met the expectations; it has exceeded them by training to become a member of Partnership for Peace and a full member state of NATO in the near future.

In accomplishing our strategic goals toward the EU and NATO integration, the Kosovo Security Force has a special role in drafting and implementing security policies for our the needs of our country and for the contribution we strive to make in international mission to build and keep the peace.

Inside Kosovo you embody the ideals of our country, and in the region and the world you are the mechanism through which we as a state will forge alliances for global security.

Officers and soldiers of the KSF,

You have established sustainable foundations of a democratic and peaceful force that embellishes a glorious past, a sustainable present and a prosperous future in line with our vision as a state built upon the principle of equality and freedom for every single citizen.

Today we are paying tribute to you, all the extraordinary men and women who wear the uniform for their courage and the love for their country and its proper state-building process.

I want to thank you and to express my personal gratitude and that of Kosovo’s citizens for your contribution and your devotion to build and professionalize the Kosovo Security Force, for staying true to its mission and for your commitment to stand by the citizens of Kosovo.

The images of Restelica are still fresh in our minds and the days and nights when you, honorable officers without despair and sometimes with your bare hands dug through the deep snow to rescue the families that were overwhelmed by the avalanche. We were proud also when you marched alongside your regional partners, strengthening the bridges of friendship and cooperation for the good of your country and of the entire region.

You are building the peace for your families that support you in this noble mission. For all the citizens of Kosovo. For all of Kosovo. For the value and ideals that kept us alive and united even when our very being as a peoples was endangered, values that are guiding us now on our path toward the consolidation of our independent and sovereign state.

It is precisely this tireless work and this dedication to Kosovo’s citizens that has endowed you with their unwavered trust.

Congratulations on your day, which you are celebrating dressed in your new uniform.

I would like to address you, honorable family members, parents, husbands and wives, with a special thanks for the continuous support for our Security Force, the pride of our country and to express my congratulations for their continuous success.

Be proud of them… We all are.

Honorable members of the KSF,

As the President of the Republic of Kosovo, as your Supreme Commander, it is a special honor to inspect you. My support for KSF’s growth and transformation and for you officers and soldiers will be permanent and full as a Constitutional and legal obligation.

As an inseparable part of our security infrastructure, we will jointly work in the coming months and years to enliven our vision and strategic goal, convinced that we stand ready to take on the responsibilities and the obligations for the security of our country, for the preservation of peace alongside our allies in international mission, fully in line with our needs and international norms.

God bless you servicemen and servicewomen who are serving the country and the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo!

Thank you!