PRESIDENT SEJDIUS SPEECH AT THE EVENT CELEBRATING THE START OF CONSTRUCTION OF VËRMICË PRISHTINA MERDAR HIGH WAYVërmicë, 25 April 2010 - Honorable Speaker of Parliament of Kosovo, Mr. Jakup Krasniqi, Honorable Prime Minister of Albania, Dr. Sali Berisha Honorable Prime Minister of Kosovo, Mr. Hashim Thaçi,
Honorable Members of Assembly and Ministers,
Honorable Ambassadors accredited to Pristina,
Honorable representatives of KFOR-it, KSF and Kosovo Police,
A long dream is coming true today. We are starting the construction of Vërmicë - Prishtina Merdar Highway, which will connect Kosovo with Albania and the entire region in our irreversible road towards Euro-Atlantic integrations.
Today we embark on the road of our joint hope for a speedy economic development, because this highway will have a direct impact on the lives and welfare of our people. Moreover, besides economic benefit and mutual cooperation and recognition opportunities, this road has an enormous psychological importance for us, because it marks the end of an unwanted division that had been imposed on us for centuries.
By expanding the highway throughout Kosovo, we will give an opportunity to the people of our country and all other countries of the region to reach the beautiful Adriatic coast and the Albanian Ionian Sea more easily. On the other hand, this road will bring Prizren, Gjakova, Peja, Theranda, Ferizaj, Prishtina, Podujevo and the entire Kosovo closer to the people of Albania.
There will be no more long and exhausting trips, only a new horizon of intensive commercial, touristic, cultural and sports cooperation, and so on.
Kosovo will come closer to the sea, and Albania will gain more terrestrial connections with the Western Balkans and the entire Europe. Accordingly, benefits will be multiple; each summer, hundreds and thousands of vacationers from Kosovo will spend their holidays in Albania, by contributing thus directly to the economic growth of this country. On the other hand, many other vacationers from Albania may enjoy the beautiful landscapes of Kosovo, especially the exceptional sites for winter tourism and skiing. In a word, all those who have opposed the connection between our two countries via this highway on grounds of high costs will be proven wrong soon, because the profit that its construction will bring will be much higher.
Ladies and gentlemen,
On this joyous day, I want to remind you that by early nineties, when Kosovo was suffering from the brutal Milosevics violence, our historic leader Dr. Ibrahim Rugova came up with the idea of constructing this highway, which, as he used to say, would help the national integration of Albanians and the integration of the entire region into Europe.
Last but not least, I wish you all nice trips in this highway of our future. I believe that its construction we be finalized within the timelines and parameters envisaged in the agreement reached between the Government of Kosovo, namely the Ministry of Transport and Telecommunication, and the Bechtel-Enka Company. In addition, on behalf of the people and institutions of Republic of Kosovo, allow me to congratulate the Government of Albania and the Government of Kosovo on having never lost the trust that we can manage to build this highway, which was once only a beautiful dream.
Congratulations and Good Luck!