President Thaçi received a letter of congratulations from former US Vice President, Joseph Biden

Prishtina, February 15, 2018 – The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, close to the marking of the tenth anniversary of the independence, has received a letter of congratulations from former US Vice President, Joseph Biden

The full letter:

Dear Mr. President,

It is with great pride and immense pleasure that I offer my deepest congratulations to you and the people of Kosovo on the ten-year anniversary of your independence. As you know, I have always believed in the promise of the people of Kosovo to establish a country rooted in the core values of justice and equality.

In one brief decade, you have mounted a determined struggle for independence, been welcomed into the community of nations, established a representative democracy where free and fair elections are the norm, and codified human rights into law. You have now laid the strong foundations of a democratic state. Non-governmental organizations are active, citizens freely debate the issues of the day, and acts of tolerance and reconciliation dot the landscape.

One of the first trips I made as Vice President was to visit Kosovo in 2009. It was also one of my last official visits as Vice President seven years later. I was so impressed to see firsthand the progress made possible in that short time thanks to the undaunted courage and unwavering tenacity of the people of Kosovo. While there is still much work that needs to be done, you are moving rapidly to become a fully-integrated European democracy-one at peace with its neighbors, in which all citizens are treated with dignity.

Kosovo and its people are firmly fixed in the hearts of the entire Biden family. I fell in love with your country on my first visit as a young United States Senator in the mid-1970s. The same was true for my son Beau, who spent the better part of a year living and working in Kosovo in 2001 to help advance the rule of law--one of the most important aims of a newly independent state. And every future Biden who makes the pilgrimage to visit the highway named in Beau’s honor outside Camp Bondsteel will surely feel as deeply invested in your continued success as I do.

Beau came to Kosovo as an advisor to the U.S. Department of Justice to help institutions fight corruption and create a level playing field for all citizens. He went on to fight for these very same goals in my home state of Delaware, where he served as Attorney General. Beau, like many patriotic Americans, knew well that the work of democracy is never done. We have to keep working at it every day in the United States, too.

Kosovo is a young country, but not too young to know what its citizens need and deserve. I have faith that the people of this great nation will continue to build an enduring, free, democratic, and prosperous Kosovo—a Kosovo that manifests the long-held hopes and dreams of so many. And I believe the world will be better for it.

Today, as you celebrate your many successes, know that the United States is, has been, and always will be a true friend to the people of Kosovo. We are rooting for your successes and will work to help you meet the challenges that all democracies face. And know that I continue to personally stand with the Kosovo people. Your spirit is free, your nation is indefatigable, and your future is bright. I cannot wait to see what the next ten years will bring.

Joseph R. Biden, Jr.