The President of the Republic of Kosovo Behgjet Pacolli has participated in the central ceremony marking the 13th anniversary of the heroic fall of the Legendary Commander Adem Jashari.
Initially, President Pacolli visited the Ministry of the Kosovo Security Force (KSF), where he, in the company of the Kosovo Security Force Commander, Lieutenant General Sylejman Selimi, marched before the KSF.
Later, he was received at a meeting with the Minister of the Kosovo Security Force Agim Çeku and his associates.
Minister Çeku apprised President Pacolli of the progress that the KSF has made in terms of reaching a full operational capability, with the main aim that the Force, with the assistance of the KFOR and friend armies, reaches the professional level of the modern armies as soon as possible.
On his part, President Pacolli, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Kosovo Security Force, offered his support in strengthening the Force. He commended the work done by the KSF members in all their engagements and said endeavours will be made to make sure that KSF members take part in various international peacekeeping missions in the world, even with symbolic strengths.
Following the meeting, President Pacolli participated in the main ceremony marking the 13th anniversary of the heroic fall of the Legendary Commander Adem Jashari, which was staged at the Adem Jashari Cantonment in Pristina and which was also attended by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi, the President of the Assembly Jakup Krasniqi, ministers of the Government of Kosovo, representatives of various institutions, accredited diplomatic representatives to our country, KFOR leaders and many citizens who had come to attend the commencement of the three-day celebration marking the fall of Commander Adem Jashari and the heroic fight of the Jashari family.
Accompanied by Lieutenant General Sylejman Selimi, President Pacolli marched before a line of KSF soldiers.
President Pacolli held a keynote speech then, the contents of which you may read below:
Honourable Jashari Family,
Honourable Uncle Rifat,
Honourable war invalids and veterans,
Honourable Prime Minister of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi,
Honourable President of the Assembly Jakup Krasniqi,
Honourable Minister of the KSF, General Agim Çeku,
Honourable KSF officers and cadets,
Honourable KFOR Commander,
Honourable diplomatic representatives,
Honourable representatives of the Kosovo civil society and organisations,
I feel touched and honoured alike to be participating in the commemoration of the glorious epopee of the Kosovo Liberation war. I feel much appreciated for sharing with you memories of heroes who have given their lives, the precious thing that God bestows upon a man, for the freedom of our country and for building the state of Kosovo.
Likewise, I feel much moved to be bowing, together with you, before the Jashari heroic family, the brightest example of the Epopee. We also hold families of other martyrs who have died for the freedom and independence of Kosovo in our hearts.
The life of a state needs strong symbols. National conscience takes shape upon them. They serve as reference points to the foundations of our political spectrum. The symbol of our freedom, the Legendary Commander Adem Jashari and other heroes, Zahir Pajaziti, Luan and Shkëlzen Haradinaj, Agim Ramadani, Fehmi e Xhevë Lladrovci and all other national heroes have laid the foundations of our state, like in the case of the cornerstone of the Rozafa Legend.
The foundations of our state are strong owing to the blood spilled and owing to these symbols. Owing to the blood that was spilled and the assistance that our friends from the West have provided to us, among whom I would like to distinguish here, for a known reason, the United States of America and the countries of the European Union, we succeeded in our quest for freedom and independence. Now we must advance towards building our state, a state that will provide guarantees for the rights of all its people and citizens.
We have made great a great progress in building out mutual home, which has a sound foundation. We have built institutions and infrastructure and we have increased the number of recognitions. We have improved the economic situation and we are endeavouring to provide better prospects to the people of Kosovo. Deeds of our heroes lie in our state foundations. They speak. They are here to remind us to do more in the future. Traces of the glorious war of the Kosovo Liberation Army are to be found all across the Republic of Kosovo and we can never forget them.
In a process that led to the creation of our state, we managed to establish a professional institution to defend our freedom like the Kosovo Security Force. The KSF is the legitimate successor to the Kosovo Liberation Army and the Kosovo Protection Corps. It is a new force with a glorious history.
Together with our friends from the NATO and the KFOR, who remain present throughout our territory, we managed to build more than 90 premises for the KSF modern infrastructure, but this is not enough. We will keep on building more.
Accordingly, the support from our friends is a guarantee for a safe future and an acknowledgement for the KSF engagement in and the commitment to the freedom and independence of Kosovo. We trust that, given to your professionalism, our friends will consider our request for your future participation in various international peacekeeping missions, and I personally and institutions of Kosovo will strive for your presence among the forces of civilised societies.
Your presence there, even in symbolic strengths, would help promote Kosovo as a state and would serve as an evidence of our commitment to the highest values of the western civilisation. Kosovo is a completely European country and we will engage continuously in consolidating our statehood and in integrating our country into Euro-Atlantic institutions. Your role in that integration is of a paramount importance.
Dear soldiers of the Kosovo Security Force,
You are contributing to a brighter future for our country, our beloved Kosovo. Kosovo was built upon the glorious deeds of the leaders of the war for the liberation of our people. The war helped tell the entire world that the ideal for freedom never dies in our lands. It helped tell the world that the freedom tree among us stays green forever and never withers, for it stays watered with the blood of our heroes. Therefore, allow me, by honouring you, to commemorate once again today those who have died for the freedom and independence of our country.
May all those who have died for our freedom and independence rest in peace! I bow before our heroes! Glory to them!