The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Madam Atifete Jahjaga attended today’s manifestation marking the 15th anniversary of the National Albanian American Council (NAAC).
In this event, with special gratitude for the great contribution given to Kosovo, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was honored. Also, for the contribution for Kosovo, the great American diplomat, Richard Holbrooke, was honored post mortem.
Present at the event were the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, the Prime Minister of Albania, Sali Berisha, the Deputy Prime Minister of Macedonia, Musa Xhaferi, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Rosemary DiCarlo, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, Philip Reeker, Congressman Eliot Engel and other important figures from the fields of politics, arts, business and other fields.
At this manifestation, President Atifete Jahjaga was declared honorary member of the National Albanian American Council.
President Jahjaga held a speech on this occasion. The full speech is brought below:
Honored Prime Minister Berisha,
Honored Prime Minister Thaci,
Honored Mr. Blair,
Honored Ambassador Wisner,
Honored Congressman Engel,
I am honored to attend this dinner that brings together the Albanians and our friends.
Prime Minister Blair, it is an honor to have you among us tonight and I want to thank you for your leadership, your vision and immense contribution that led to Kosovo’s freedom. We are now building a strong state that will make you proud.
I also want to honor the memory of Mr. Richard Holbrooke, who is not with us anymore, for his tireless diplomatic efforts and his long dedication to peace in the Balkans. On behalf of Kosovo, thank you!
I am very honored to be addressing you, my compatriots and respected citizens of this free world, with feelings of the greatest respect, because the ideals that you represent are a fortunate weaving of freedom and friendship between two peoples.
I want to pay my gratitude to the contribution of the patriotic associations, of the Civic Albanian-American League that was active in the United States, and I want to specifically mention the deed of the President Ibrahim Rugova, the leader of pluralism in Kosovo who projected the idea of the friendship between Kosovo and the United States of America.
The ideal of freedom, which is ingrained in the foundation of the American civilization and consciousness is a worldwide value and is an inspiration for all the peoples across the world, who respect the basic values of freedom and human dignity.
We the leaders of our two countries, and of one nation, representatives of our people, that carry on the ideal and the vision are not gathered here solely for the fact that we speak one language and are compatriots, but because of the values that we harbor to build a prosperous future for our people with a strong commitment toward democracy and the European civilization.
The symbolic of our gathering in the United States of America speaks to the lifelong friendship that our nation has with the American people that led us to enjoy our freedom and independence, to live in dignity and equality with the rest of the nations and other countries.
Your work is a testament that in our capital decisions, state and national, we need your thoughts.
You all know well the circumstances of the time led to Albania’s establishment that did not include all the national territories, but due to the dedication of our compatriots of all the Albanian lands the national idea was kept alive.
The creation and the stabilization of Albania, as the most successful chapter in our history, refer largely to the extraordinary contribution of the Albanian American community.
Nearly one hundred years later, the founding and the stabilization of the state of Kosovo, as another most successful story of our national history, among other things, also refers to the extraordinary and exemplary contribution of the Albanian American community.
This contribution includes all forms of support for Kosovo, from the protests, to financial contributions and lobbying to the most sublime sacrifice, that of not sparing one’s life. I want to proudly recognize the honorable war of the Kosovo Liberation Army and the Atlantic Battalion.
Dear friends and fellow citizens,
As two sovereign and independent countries we are committed to the ideal of the Euro-Atlantic integration, because this is the only way to join the free and dignified peoples and the only way to give our contribution to world.
Regional cooperation and good and sincere relations with our neighbors, without territorial ambitions and without returning to the history, will enable us to move forward by helping each other, by making the work and our life easier, by carrying forth our economic, cultural and scientific development, to live in peace and in prosperity with other nations.
Our membership in the family of the European Union will enable us, as citizens and Albanians, to move freely, to cooperate and launch joint projects, as well as to use our joint material and intellectual resources for our own good, as part of the European civilization. This is our ideal and I am committed toward our joint success.
We need to learn from history without being its hostages. We honor our past and all the activists who gave everything so that we live free, in dignity and equality with all the people.
I raise a toast to our ideals and objectives, which we share with the ideals of the United States of America and the European Union that we are fulfilling by using the potential, the knowledge and the skills of our young generation, who are building upon the commitment and the enthusiasm of older generations that bestowed everything for their homeland, the freedom, independence and democracy.
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