THE SPEECH OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO AT THE NATIONAL ALBANIAN-AMERICAN ANNUAL DINNER

I am honored to meet so many of you engaged and making extraordinary efforts for the independence and the democratic processes in Kosovo, for the national cause and the friendship with the United States of America.

Honorable compatriots,

Honorable President Nishani,

Honorable deputy prime minister Arifi and Xhaferi,

Honorable Mr. Reeker,

Honorable Congressman Engel, Congressman Grimm,

Ambassador di Carlo, Ambassador Wisner,

Honorable Mr. Mustafa and members of the National Albanian-American Council

Dear Friends,


I am honored to meet so many of you engaged and making extraordinary efforts for the independence and the democratic processes in Kosovo, for the national cause and the friendship with the United States of America.

Your contribution, the contribution of the Albanian community in America has always, through all the periods of our history has been crucial. As citizens of the United States you know best the American spirit, the determination, commitment and ideal of freedom and democracy, values which you have taken and spread into your homeland, turning them into principles that are at the foundation of our progress as a state.

I congratulate the National Albanian American Council on this anniversary and for organizing such a meaningful event. I wish you all the best in the future and assure you that you will have my support and the support of Kosovo’s institutions.

Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen,

I want to pay our deepest and most sincere graditute to all those activists, associations, clubs and organizations that showed their patriotism while at the same time they lived and worked as dedicated citizens of the United States of America. They are our guiding light today.

We are all committed to our vision for the better future of our people.

The contribution of the Albanian Americans and of our friends, the members of Congress, Senators, intellectuals and activists of different fields, is crucial to raise awareness among the public opinion here in the US and beyond.

I want to thank you for your engagement and your presence here this evening Congressman Eliot Engel, Ambassador Rosemary di Carlo, Ambassador Frank Winser, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. Phil Reeker, and all of you that strengthen our cooperation for our common ideals.

I also want to express my graditute for the example set by the members of the Atlantic Battalion who crossed an ocean to come to Kosovo’s rescue.
Our path to freedom was full with sacrifices, reaching its peak with the glorious war of the Kosovo Liberation Army, of the legendary commander Adem Jashari, of the best men and women.
 
Our political platform, the internationalization of the Kosovo issue, was a result of the intellectual and mass movement led by the first President of Kosovo, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, who with his vision for freedom, independence and democracy mobilized the people of Kosovo to join him in the civil resistance.

This year when we celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of Albania’s independence, we Albanians are free and masters of ourselves wherever we live. We cooperate with each other throughout the region that contributes to our prosperity, to peace and stability, to good relations with our neighbors.

If we shall remember the twentieth century for the declaration of independence and the creation of the Albanian state, we shall remember the twenty-first century for the declaration of Kosovo’s independence. These two major events were successful due to the help of the United States of America, of the US presidents Wilson, Clinton, Bush and our international friends.

Dear compatriots, honorable American friends,

We are building democratic countries that have a clear vision: the membership into the European Union, to join the family of free peoples, the membership into NATO, the strongest alliance, which through its intervention in Kosovo prevented genocide and helped a million people return to their homes.

The Republic of Kosovo wants to become a member of the United Nations because through that membership we will complete successfully and justly a chapter of history.

Let us work together for the goal in which we all believe: for peace, prosperity, cooperation and solidarity among people.

I am very grateful that we are celebrating these important anniversaries and milestones in this beacon of democracy, in the headquarters of international diplomacy and in company of our valuable friends.

Let us raise a toast by thanking all of you who have contributed to making these century long dreams happen.

Thank you!