President Thaçi in Dubrovnik: Kosovo to take over SEECP chairmanship-in-office in near future 

Dubrovnik, 30 June –The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, today attended the SEECP Summit, known as the South East European Cooperation Process, taking place in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

President Thaçi, before the presidents of the countries of the region and other participants at summit, extended his gratitude to the Croatian President, Mrs Grabar-Kitarovic, and Croatia for a successful SEECP chairmanship-in-office.

President Thaçi emphasized that cooperation is key to maintain peace and stability, but also for the future membership in EU and NATO.

”Despite the fact that we still face uneasy challenges in our region, I think the latest developments have given us reason for optimism that things can move in the right direction again”, stated President Thaçi.

The President stated that it is true that in the recent months most of the countries in the region went through periods of necessary democratic tests, which in some cases were accompanied by political uncertainties, though these political developments also confirm that the citizens of the region prefer political alternatives that promote dialogue, cooperation and integration.

”The message is clear - we want the EU because of values it represents and economic opportunities it offers. This is the best message for the region, and from the region, but also for the EU and NATO”, stated President Thaçi.

Before its regional counterparts and EU representatives, the President has stated that this is also the best lesson for all who see our region with suspicion.

According to him, the good momentum in the region corresponds to the positive momentum that is slowly being established in the EU, pointing out that the elections in Austria, Netherlands and France have given a new hope to us all, proving that populist ideas threatening the very idea of European Union, were short-lived.

”The future does not stand in division but in integration. That is why forums like this are important to us all, to reaffirm our commitment to regional cooperation, and to achieve our realistic aspirations, membership in EU and NATO”, added President Thaçi.

President Thaçi in front of many presidents and ministers of the region stated that the Republic of Kosovo remains committed to participating in SEECP, by giving its meritorious contribution.

Based on this commitment, he said that there is a proposal that Kosovo shall take over the South East European Co-operation Process chairmanship-in-office in the near future.

“We are encouraged by the support that this proposal received. This is an evidence that the SEECP remains a forum that promotes the values of equality, inclusiveness and cooperation”, stated President Thaçi.

Speaking about developments in Kosovo, President Thaçi said that almost two decades have passed since the end of the war in Kosovo and almost a decade since Kosovo became an independent state.

“We know very well the dangers of the conflict and the suffering that war causes. That is why we are committed to a new chapter for our region”, he stated.

President Thaçi also spoke about the visits he made to the members of the communities that suffered from the war. “I wanted not only to recognize their pain and suffering, but also to support efforts for reconciliation and justice”, emphasised President Thaçi.

He added that Kosovo remains committed to cultivating good neighbourly relations with all the countries of the region, including Serbia.

“The dialogue on the normalization of relations between the two respective states, Kosovo and Serbia, has yielded positive results. Therefore, I now as President express the readiness to continue this dialogue, as the only mechanism for the full normalization of our inter-state relations”, stated President Thaçi.

During the day President Thaçi will hold meetings with various representatives of the participating states.