President Jahjaga and Ambassador Jacobson signed the agreement on US Peace Corps programme in Kosovo

President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga, received today at a meeting the Director of the US Peace Corps, Ms. Helen Lowman, who was accompanied by TH US Ambassador to Kosovo, Ms. Tracy Ann Jacobson.

On this occasion, President Jahjaga and Ambassador Jacobson signed the interstate agreement on initiation of the US Peace Corps programme in Kosovo.

In a statement for media President Jahjaga said:

On behalf of the Republic of Kosovo, today we signed the cooperation agreement with the US Peace Corps, which launches their programme in our country. This agreement marks an important step which contributes to cooperation of our two nations in the field of education and culture and further strengthens our friendly relations.

With this agreement, Kosovo becomes the 140th host country of the Peace Corps, an organisation of US volunteers, established by President Kennedy, which has for decades built the bridges of friendship between people worldwide.

The Peace Corps agreement is a cooperation platform through which Kosovo will become the home of the volunteers from the United States of America, who will integrate into our societies and work in the field of education, culture, environment and general development.

The US Peace Corps and the US Embassy in Prishtina, alongside with various institutions of Kosovo, have provided a valuable contribution towards realization of this agreement and I would like to express my gratitude for their contribution.

This agreement seals the excellent relations between our two nations, nations who have chosen the path of peace, prosperity and democracy.

On behalf of the citizens of the Republic of Kosovo, I wish you a warm welcome to Kosovo and express my felicitations for the initiation of this agreement between us. I wish that the volunteers may consider Kosovo their home.

Director of the US Peace Corps, Ms. Helen Lowman, in her address, stated the following:

President Jahjaga,
Ambassador Jacobson,
Respected members of the Kosovar delegation,
Peace Corps volunteers and future Peace Corps staff members;

Thank you very much for the hospitality and a welcome to Kosovo that you showed to me and the Peace Corps staff members. I am very happy to be in Kosovo today, to represent the Peace Corps in the inauguration of the opening of the new programme of the US Peace Corps in Kosovo. This agreement makes Kosovo the 140th host country since the establishment of this agency in 1961. During the 52 years we have dedicated ourselves to our founding principles and we have found new innovative ways to achieve our mission. We are
Proud to respond to the request for US Peace Corps volunteers requested by the Republic of Kosovo in order for them to work with Kosovars and local communities of Kosovo.

The success of the Peace Corps is based upon the exchanges of ideas between people in the most fundamental level, because, the Peace Corps volunteers and people of Kosovo will exchange their knowledge in all field and thus increase the level of understanding between our two countries and cultures.

One of the ways  how the Peace Corps is developing in the 21st century is by expanding our strategic partnership in such a manner that ensures that every our dollar is spent properly. We believe in an all encompassing governance of all our global policies and are very grateful to have the support of our colleagues at USAID and State Department.

As well as Peace Corps, USAID is also established by President Kennedy, to best reflect the greatest American values. With the contribution of USAID and State Department, The US Peace Corps hopes to establish in Kosovo a viable and sustainable programme. We welcome the arrival of the first group of 20 volunteers nest summer, who will be joining the list of 210.000 Americans who have served in the Peace Corps.

While the first volunteers in Kosovo will concentrate in English language teaching, they will also endeavour to support the community in any way they can; as youth mentors, basketball coaches or drama and theatre coaches, but also as friends, which is the most important.

All Peace Corps volunteers have been lucky to serve others, and we do know that they receive from their hosts the same amount of support they provide to the communities.

Thank you Madam President for the very warm welcome and the strong support that Government will provide to the future volunteers through all of your ministries.

Our new Kosovo country Director, Mr. Stephen Kutzy, is already in Kosovo and he is initiating the launch of the programme. I know that our programme will be very successful and I can’t wait for the volunteers to arrive next year.

On behalf of the US Peace Corps acting Director, Carrie Hessler-Radelet, I would like to thank you for making this possible. For the Republic of Kosovo, thank you for being here with us on this special day and thank you for your dedication and for our strong and eternal friendship.

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