The word of President Atifete Jahjaga at the ceremony of the changing of the KFOR commander

(President Jahjaga decorated General Bühler with the “Military Medal for service in Kosovo”).

Honored Representatives of the Institutions of the Republic of Kosovo
Soldiers and officers of the KFOR forces in the Republic of Kosovo
Honored officers and representatives of the Kosovo Security Force,
Honored Ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions in Kosovo,
Honored representatives of international missions in Kosovo,
Honorable Admiral Samuel Locklear III, commander of the armed forces of NATO in Naples,
Honorable Secretary of Defense of Germany, Thomas Kossendey,
Honorable Generalmajor Erhard Drews,
Honorable Generalmajor Erhard Bühler,


The change of command of the peacekeeping forces mission of NATO in Kosovo is an important event for Kosovo, for KFOR and the peacekeeping mission in this part of Europe.

The men and women - members of KFOR - have played a particular role in maintaining peace and stability in Kosovo, interethnic understanding and preservation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Kosovo, which led to the creation of conditions for collaboration and cooperation in the post-conflict period.

The KFOR mission that came naturally after the NATO intervention to stop the conflict and to prevent genocide is highly human. You, who have left your family and relatives to come here, to serve my country, are very honored and respected for your performance and prevention of acts of violence, the restoration of the consequences of war, providing assistance to the population, participation and contributing to rebuild the country, training and capacity building of the emergency, defense and security facilities, and many good deeds done in collaboration with the local community.

KFOR is the most supported institution, with the highest credibility and with the undeniable respect that it enjoys among all the citizens of Kosovo.

KFOR’s commitment for the citizens of Kosovo and their security is an example of international engagement of NATO as a peacekeeping force which assists in the consolidation of democracies in transition period, and as a preventive force to all those extremists who want the realization of political goals through violence or who aim to destabilize or jeopardizing the lives and property of the citizens their.

Dear General Buehler,

Like the other KFOR commanders, you worked in specific times and circumstances, but with your wisdom, experience and professionalism you achieved to overcome the difficulties and find solutions to overcome the situation, to prevent the escalation of the conflict and to reach an agreement, which returns the normality of the situation and provides a quiet life and work of the citizens. These properties of a Commander are tested in crisis situations and you testified that you are for the defense rule and law enforcement, that you have negotiating skills and your case will be taken as an example of the application of the doctrines and tactics of NATO in crisis situations.

General George S. Patton had said: “A leader is a man who can adopt principles to circumstances”.

The new KFOR Commander Generalmajor Erhard Drews will follow the glorious traditions of the KFOR men and women in the Republic of Kosovo and will continue the cooperation with the institutions and the citizens of Kosovo regardless of race, gender, religion or ethnicity.

The Republic of Kosovo, sovereign and independent country, in its challenges on its path towards Euro-Atlantic integration, sees the component of the peacekeeping forces as very important in the cooperation and institutional interaction and the commitment for the benefit of the community in training the specific local structures that enable Kosovo to be a future member of NATO and the EU.

The Republic of Kosovo for many years carried the international aid and I would like that we would be able to give a concrete contribution in the joint missions for the maintenance of peace and to help people in crisis areas. In this way partnership is built, so each country, regardless of the number and size, contributes to the architecture and security, in peacekeeping missions and to peace and stability in global politics.

Honorable soldiers and officers,

You, in the recent events that occurred in Kosovo testified your skills and showed that you can work and perform the objectives successfully in particular conditions and circumstances, in longer periods of time, proving the professionalism and readiness of commitment in the implementation of tasks.

Those days, I, as President of the country was with you and your relatives, having concerns about your lives and for the success of the mission which were interrelated.

Your success proves that it is worth to fight for human rights and principles and that there is no challenge which we could not forefront.

I wish you success while ensuring you backing and institutional support and creating all the conditions of cooperation for a job and stay in the Republic of Kosovo, from which I hope you part with unforgettable memories, and always return here as friends who have spent a part of their life here and that you have created connections with the people and deeds that have remained as testimony of your humane commitment.

Thank you.