President Sejdiu hosted a traditional dinner for the Diplomatic ChoirThe President of Republic of Kosovo, Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu hosted a traditional dinner last night for the Diplomatic Choir accredited in Kosovo.
President Sejdiu thanked the international institutions for the work that they have done and for their commitment to Kosovo. He said that the year that we left behind was a year of a major progress made in Kosovo, wishing that 2010 will be a year when Kosovo will see a further growth.
It is my pleasure to be here with you tonight so that we can enter together the new year of our engagement in and for Kosovo. Wishing you and your families good health, luck and success, I wish that we will keep up the hard work during this year of great challenges that lie ahead of us. I consider that 2009 was a year of an overall progress in Kosovo and that neither as citizens, nor as institutions of our country would have we managed to achieve this were it not for your support, the support of all the representatives of countries that have backed Kosovo and of the entire international community, including KFOR, President Sejdiu pointed out.
Speaking of developments in our country last year, President Sejdiu said that the processes that we have left behind were crucial and of a special importance to Kosovo.
It is important that we have a sustainable stability in our country, to which both our people and institutions are contributing. Despite obstacles that we have come across, we have made a significant progress in terms of economic growth and we have truly managed to keep our main promises, including obligations that have derived from Ahtisaaris Proposal, in relation to all our citizens and to minority communities in particular. We have also managed to establish the main institutions that are crucial to the functioning of our state, such as the Constitutional Court of Kosovo, the Kosovo Security Force and the Kosovo Intelligence Agency, President Sejdiu underlined.
Speaking of progress made in our country, he referred to the recognitions that Kosovo has received during the last year and to the deployment of a diplomatic network in different countries that have recognized the independence of Kosovo so far. It is worthwhile noting that Kosovo has been recognized by 65 countries thus far and that we have employed a modest diplomatic network representing Kosovo and consisting in 21 embassies and 9 consular missions. Kosovos accession to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund was strongly supported by other countries and by our friend countries in particular, President Sejdiu said in addition.
The President of Republic of Kosovo, Dr. Fatmir Sedjiu also mentioned the first municipal elections that were held in an independent Kosovo and that were for the first time managed by the local institutions.
We have conducted a very important electoral process, the first municipal elections in an independent Kosovo, which were managed by our institutions alone. Regardless of some democratic procedures that remain to be reviewed, it is important that our people have passed their test on an important electoral process. The fact that all the running parties and individuals engaged in an essentially fair competition is worthy of note, President Sejdiu affirmed. President Sejdiu maintained that a further growth in the independent state of Kosovo remains a major challenge following independence, which he said was achieved together with Kosovos friends.
Having mentioned the main developments that took place in Kosovo during 2009, President Sejdiu revealed some of the main concerns for 2010. First and foremost, we must keep up the good work and cooperate closely with EULEX, KFOR and other international stakeholders that support Kosovo in setting its pace in terms of its integration. We must endeavor to draw on the best models of governance and experiences in the region and beyond and refrain from responding to improper rhetoric on Kosovo and irrational politics that Serbia is conducting.
It is very important for us to ensure that the freedom of movement assumes global dimensions and results in, what we have come to call, an all-inclusive visa liberalization, so that Kosovo is included in this process as soon as possible. On the other hand, in the course of processes that will take place in our country, we will provide additional evidence of our commitment to fulfilling our obligations that derive from Ahtisaaris Proposal.
The fact that three new municipalities were created is encouraging. With the participation of Serbian citizens in elections, new municipalities will be created. At the same time, we will renew our joint unyielding and democratic efforts to provide for the operational capability of our institutions throughout Kosovo. I believe that this speaks of challenges that lie ahead of us, President Sejdiu said.
In conclusion, President Sejdiu said that the progress in our country was made owing to the cooperation and a common understanding with the people of our country, on one hand, and international institutions, on the other.
Without and internal and international support, we will not manage to achieve the goals that we aspire to achieve. Therefore, our citizens have also a role to play in this regard. My door is always open to those who want to cooperate for the best of Kosovo and for our future, and I am positive that all our institutions share the same commitment, President Sejdiu said in conclusion to his speech.