President Thaçi pays tribute to the grave of President Rugova: The peaceful resistance was the starting point of the armed resistance

Prishtina, July 12, 2020 – The President of the state, Hashim Thaçi, paid tribute today to the grave of the first president of Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova.

President Thaçi has said that he has known President Rugova as a fellow traveler towards freedom and peace, as two people with different political views, but with the same goal: the free and independent state of Kosovo.

This is the full statement of President Thaçi after the honors for President Rugova:

Today I am here to pay tribute to the man who empowered the beginning of Kosovo’s state-building, as a symbol of the national effort to turn the dream of freedom into the embodiment of a sovereign state.

In the history of the formation of states in the world, Kosovo enters the rare cases that started the path of state formation from the idea of peaceful resistance and closed it in the trenches of armed war.

His patience and clarity on the peaceful resistance, as an impossible mission at the time and the context when it took shape, proved to the end the seriousness of a man in trying to protect the homeland, with a completely original approach.

That wise resistance inspired the solidarity of the diaspora to support the national survival: survival in education, medicine, culture ..., opposite the repression of the state of Serbia.

The truth is that without the peaceful resistance, without that paved road, which was the starting point for me and my comrades, it would be difficult to continue afterwards on the path of armed resistance.

All of us who started opposing Belgrade in the early 1990s would not have been so determined, so brave, and so confident in our journey to freedom, as if peaceful resistance had not preceded us.

The peaceful resistance firstly convinced the Albanians of Kosovo that they could think about and make their own state, even though the occupation seemed eternal.

The same project also convinced the West that the Albanians were survivors, not observers, and that they would not agree with the occupation by Belgrade.

This political project made the commencement of the armed resistance as a historic action more justifiable and legitimate.

The combination of peaceful resistance and armed struggle was the key to Kosovo’s freedom and independence.

Today we should all be proud that the starting point of the state formation of Kosovo and the inspiration of the liberation movement in Kosovo from peaceful to armed resistance, has started from the need for freedom, for peace, for all its citizens.

I have known Rugova as a fellow traveler towards freedom and peace, as two people with different political views, but with the same goal: the free and independent state of Kosovo. As the years go by, the weight of my respect on our common history grows even more.

The war in the name of peace and human rights changed the world’s view about Kosovo and world-wide confirmed its right to a state where Albanians will rule together with minorities and not be ruled by a single minority.

It is our duty now to face the war that is being made against Kosovo and its statehood.

Even in the name of the resistance that brought to life a free, independent and democratic Kosovo, to convince Serbia itself to recognize our state.

Today, more than ever, we need Rugova’s lesson of wisdom and the respect for the blood shed for Kosovo.

Honor and gratitude always to the first President of Kosovo, as well as to all those who gave life to the peaceful at the beginning and the armed resistance to the end.

With this respect and gratitude I will head to the Specialized Chambers, which we created ourselves as a strategic decision and trust in the USA, NATO and the European Union, to return anytime from there with all the publicly affirmed purity of my life for a free and democratic Kosovo.

Eternal honors to all the martyrs of the nation. Honors to President Rugova!