Today I am very privileged to be in your midst, precisely on the day we mark the 10th anniversary of the declaration of the state of Kosovo.
I had the great honor when on Sunday afternoon of February 17, 2008, as Prime Minister of the Government of Kosovo, I read the Declaration of the Independence of Kosovo.
This Declaration did not only define the status of Kosovo. With it, we, as politicians and as citizens of Kosovo, confirmed that we are making a state that will have genuine political and civic liberal and democratic European values. A state which will aim to be an integral part of the North Atlantic Alliance and of the European Union.
It could not have happened otherwise: Kosovo’s liberation and independence are true European and Western values.
The liberation and the state of Kosovo would not happen without Kosovo’s extraordinary partnership with the USA and with Europe.
Since then, the state of Kosovo has been recognized by 115 states.
It has managed to mark progress in all possible directions.
But for well-known reasons, the story about Kosovo is not fully rounded up, we are not yet a member of the UN, while our journey towards the EU is far too complicated
But, the citizens of Kosovo know what they want, and we, as the political leadership, have no doubt what our direction should be as a state.
Kosovo is the most pro-European, pro-American and pro-Western state in the Balkans.
We are proud about this fact.
We are unique in Kosovo about this orientation of ours.
But we, in Kosovo, in the last ten years, have faced the great consequences of the lack of unity in the EU about the state of Kosovo.
23 EU member states have recognized Kosovo’s independence, but five states have not.
If there was EU unity on Kosovo, as if the EU had spoken with one voice, with a stand for Kosovo, I am convinced that the state of Kosovo would be a more stable country.
I am also sure that in this case, we would have already normalized relations with Serbia in entirety, which would be beneficial to Kosovo, Serbia and the whole region.
With an EU unity on Kosovo, with a greater EU determination to integrate the last six Western Balkan states into the EU, I am convinced that today we would not have to deal with this subject, which links the stagnation in the EU enlargement process with the obvious progress of the Russia factor in these parts of Europe.
But let us look ahead and show a political and diplomatic determination that could use a new momentum that is being created in these parts of the Balkans with the EU Enlargement Strategy announced just a few days ago.
In this context, we as Kosovo, are committed to conclude the dialogue with Serbia, to make the Agreement legally binding by which Kosovo and Serbia, as two neighboring states, would enter into the unprecedented period in our common history, of good neighborliness, of reconciliation, and why not of a friendship in a common European future
We do not have time to lose, neither we, nor Serbia.
We, in Kosovo, want to give a successful epilogue to this dialogue this year, which with the legally binding Agreement, will be an extraordinary achievement for us, for the whole region, and for entire Europe.
Kosovo is ready to put the final step in this direction, because we know that this big Agreement with Serbia will be the ultimate guarantee for the triumph of peace and stability in these parts of Europe.
Moreover, this Agreement will be the most European act in the region for years, if not longer.
I hope that in Brussels it will be understood as never before how important the achievement of this Agreement is, and what kind of impact it will have on the finalization of the political and geographic map of the EU, with the involvement of the six Western Balkan countries.
Thank you for your attention!