President Vjosa Osmani's address on the 23rd anniversary of the NATO intervention

On this very day 23 years ago, on March 24th 1999, the fate and life of each of us took a turn of hope. This, with the help of our allies, who decided to put an end to the genocide and unscrupulous crimes committed by Milosevic aimed at the extermination of our people at all costs.
The bombs aimed at the targets of the Serbian army and police were the first signal that the hope and right of two million Albanians for freedom and democracy were becoming a reality.

That is why today we are eternally grateful to NATO, just as we are grateful to the peacekeeping troops, to the women and men who stood up for justice and peace, sealing the protection and freedom and security of every citizen of Kosovo.

NATO intervention paved the way for the rebirth of freedom and democracy in Kosovo. This, after decades of violence, apartheid and systematic discrimination which resulted in a bloody war led by fascist intentions to kill, rape and forcefully displace the people of Kosovo from their land.

It is unfortunate that today we find ourselves in a position where we have to defend the right decision of NATO to stop the genocide in Kosovo. But rest assured that we will never stop defending the truth!

The truth is this: NATO intervention was not only necessary but was more than welcomed by the people of Kosovo. Our very existence as a free and independent nation is the joint success of our liberation resistance and NATO's decision to intervene.

In these 23 years, we have proved to our allies that the intervention was not merely a humane and noble gesture but was the only possible action. The intervention saved lives, created hope, gave us wings to build the country we love today, and enabled us to give voice to Kosovo's successes as an independent and sovereign state.

For the destructive forces that today question NATO's goals, what is most important is that the people of Kosovo - the most pro-NATO people in the world - know the truth. The democratic world, too, knows the truth.

Dear citizens,

Today, once again, we see how democracy is violated and freedom is killed. On this very day on March 24th, NATO convened to discuss Russian military aggression against Ukraine. The gruesome images of the attacks on innocent Ukrainian civilians are a heavy and difficult reminder of a dark past for our people.

But we, as a state, have never taken for granted the actions of our allies in support of Kosovo. We have demonstrated this to them by lining up with them and standing united in the face of tyranny and autocracy.

And one thing is sure: lessons from the past clarify the vision for the future, therefore Kosovo and we as its citizens have a constant commitment to the path to membership in the Euro-Atlantic family by defending the common values of freedom and democracy.

God bless Kosovo and its allies!