President Vjosa Osmani’s address at the establishing ceremony of the Kosovo-Austria Friendship Association

President Vjosa Osmani’s address at the establishing ceremony of the Kosovo-Austria Friendship Association

Honorable Prime Minister Kurti,

President Sejdiu,

Honourable friend of Kosovo MEP Lukas Mandl

Honourable Ambassador of Austria to Kosovo,

Mr. Vranovci,

Honourable Minister Peci,

Honourable attendees,

Chief Mufti Tërnava and Mayor of Gjilan,

and of course, dear friends,

Dear participants
I am honored to be present at this solemn act today, the establishment of the Kosovo-Austria Friendship Association.

The state of Kosovo was established also with the unconditional help and support of its friends such as Austria, and for this reason, the establishment of this association will further strengthen the already special friendship between our two states, which is quite long-lasting already.

At a time when our continent is facing numerous dangers from autocratic and hegemonic systems, it is extremely important that our countries strengthen ties and that our nations strengthen these ties as well.

The power of friendship between countries is immeasurable, while the benefit to the people of both countries is extremely great.

They are built on the basis of trust, values and the desire to work together for the common good.

Meanwhile, mutual economic cooperation also serves as a basis for long-term friendship, thus promoting stability and cooperation on a global scale.

Kosovo’s friendship with Austria is as old as it is precious. Going back to the nineties, Otto von Habsburg, a great friend of the historic President Dr. Ibrahim Rugova and of our nation, strongly advocated the protection of human rights and freedoms in Kosovo.

During the dark days of our history, when the Serbian genocidal regime closed the schools and the university, it was the state of Austria and the friend of Kosovo Erhard Busek, as already mentioned, that enabled our young people to continue their studies in Austria, being the first state European which recognized our diplomas.

Historical evidence shows that the state of Austria constantly helped with the education, science, culture and independence of the Albanians, also being among the first countries that supported our right to be free and independent.

The former Kosovo status negotiator, the Austrian diplomat Albert Rohan, was also among the greatest backers of our path to independence.

Therefore, a heartfelt thank you to all our Austrian friends, who at various time periods supported us in our journey towards freedom, independence and nation-building, which is being demonstrated even today through the powerful voice of Lukas Mandl in the European Parliament and as well as the voice of the Austrian deputies in the Austrian Parliament.

Of course, we have more than historical ties with Austria, many, many references unite us from the past. But, with Austria, above all, the future unites us.

Since we share common values, such as European identity and European values, we are determined to traverse this path.

Friends are tested on difficult days, our people say. Austria is a friendly country that has come to our aid continuously, hence the establishment of the friendship association is a necessity, a respect and a gratitude. Austria was with us yesterday, is with us today, and we have no doubt that it will also be with us tomorrow!

This association is therefore one more opportunity for our two countries to continue the tradition of friendship, as a legacy to the generations that will come after us.

The friendship between us is a beacon of hope in an increasingly divided world. This friendship is the key to peace, prosperity and understanding between nations and states.

As we strive to build a better future, let us remember the power of friendship and work towards strengthening the ties between our nations and countries.

Together, we can create a world in which friendship triumphs and where understanding, cooperation and solidarity are our destiny!

God bless the friendship between Kosovo and Austria!

Thank you!

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