President Thaçi’s remarks at the reception of the Embassy of Finland organized in Prishtina in honor of the 100th Anniversary of the Independence

Honorable Ambassador Anne Huhtamaki,

Honorable Ambassadors and Friends of Finland,

Today we are together for a truly special day - the 100th anniversary of the Finnish state.

For us in Kosovo, who are preparing to celebrate the first 10th Anniversary of our Republic, 100 years seem like a lot of years, but actually in the European history Finland can also be called a new state.

As two new states, although with many years of difference between us, I have always been impressed about the fact how many similarities we have as two places.

Both countries have also a person in common - President Ahtisaari, the Peace Nobelist who was actually the right Finn, at the right time and in the right place, who contributed for Kosovo to be freed once and for all from the danger of occupation.

With President Ahtisaari I have spent hours in many stages of Kosovo’s state-building.

Few people know that his concept for supervised independence became known as early as 1999, at a conference organized by President Nelson Mandela and UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan.

Since that time President Ahtisaari realized that the glass which is once broken and bleeds the hand cannot be put together in any form.

The wound must be healed and the only healing for bloody Kosovo was independence.

It took another 9 years for Ahtisaari’s prophetic work to be crowned with his plan, on the basis of which the representatives of the people of Kosovo declared independence on February 17, 2008.

In these conversations I have had with President Ahtisaari I always recall the story that his passion for peace stems from the bad luck he had as a child when he was a refugee.

Over 400,000 Finnish women, children and men remained without shelter and hungry in cold arctic weather.

It is the strength of the Finnish people which made this state rise as a phoenix and didn’t let it get stuck in the vicious circle of hate and revenge, but to focus on development and play a role in ensuring peace and stability.

Finland has the technology giants that brought us mobile phones like Nokia up to games like “Angry Birds” that our children play.

This is perhaps the greatest lesson of this Finnish 100th anniversary.

The nights in northern Europe, in Finland as well, during the winter are long and dark.

But even during the longest nights of history, when horror and anxieties frightened the population and shook the state - Finland knew that always a long and beautiful summer that never ends arrives.

Therefore, today, the Finnish government and people have consensus on progress, values, human rights, full equality between spouses with the principle that the majority should always be generous to the minority.

This precious lesson, this example of Finnish progress, should be an inspiration for us in Kosovo.

Therefore, Kosovo has no time to lose, being always grateful to Finland having been from the first states to recognize the Republic of Kosovo.

Therefore, we must end our isolation, and on this occasion i also greet the initiative of the Prime Minister today that the agreement on the ratification of the demarcation with Montenegro to be passed from the Government to be proceeded to the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo

Thank you Mr. Haradinaj for the responsibility.

In the near future we must also establish the Association of Serb-majority Municipalities in Kosovo, to prove that we are a reliable state and people;

We must establish the Armed Forces of Kosovo, in order to give our modest contribution to the preservation of peace everywhere in the world;

We must continue the dialogue on the normalization of relations with Serbia and reach the final peace and reconciliation agreement as soon as possible, as a key condition for the membership of the two respective states in the Euro-Atlantic structures.

Therefore honorable attendees, allow me that for these valuable lessons we have received from President Ahtisaari, which are also being offered to the whole world to this day, to thank you for your participation, for the opportunity to speak on behalf of the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo.

Cheers to another 100 years of Independece Finland!