Dear soldiers, non-commissioned officers and officers of the Kosovo Security Force,
Acting Prime Minister, Mr. Hoti
Minister of Defence, Mr. Quni
Honourable Commander of the Force, General Rrahman Rama
Distinguished diplomatic representatives in our country,
Highly respected diplomatic and military representatives of the United States of America,
Dear ladies and gentlemen, friends, dear participants,
I feel honoured today to be here as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kosovo here with you in escorting the first peacekeeping contingent of our Force to the State of Kuwait.
The message that I came here to give on behalf of all citizens of the Republic of Kosovo on this historic day for our country is very simple: I came to say: God Save You and thank you!
As I stand here before you, I cannot fail to mention on this historic day, that of all the privileges and honours I have had to serve in this capacity, nothing comes close to the honour of serving as the Supreme Commander of this Force.
On January 5th of this year, the Assembly of Kosovo voted unanimously to send a contingent of the Kosovo Security Force abroad. A day later, I feel proud to have signed the authorization to send this contingent on this first mission, side by side with our American friends.
This six-month mission of our soldiers is becoming possible thanks to the partnership with the United States of America, respectively with the American Army, hence our peacekeepers will be by their side in this noble mission.
The state partnership program with the US Army has a long-term goal and aims to establish and expand the partnership with the KSF, in order to promote security in the region and beyond.
Today, one of these objectives is beginning to be met. These boys we are sending off today to be followed by the female soldiers soon will be the honour and pride not only of us, but also of our strategic partner, the United States of America.
22 years ago it was hard to imagine that our soldiers could be part of any peacekeeping mission in the world. Today this is becoming a reality because we brought in the freedom and built peace together with our international friends. Now is the time to return some of their contribution, to become a partner in building and maintaining peace.
From a country that once imported peacekeepers, today we are gradually transforming into a country that is exporting peacekeepers.
This contingent we are sending to the State of Kuwait is small in number, but large in content and message. These guys are writing the new story of our Force. Although recently established, the Force has inherited a significant portion of its ideal content from the Kosovo Liberation Army and later from the Kosovo Protection Corps. And today, our Force is taking on a role in global security and peace.
With our military allies, we share the values â€‹â€‹of freedom and democracy. I am sure that you will do your best to give chances of peace with professionalism and dedication, not only to where you are going today but wherever and whenever this task is entrusted to you.
This mission would not have been possible without the support of the US Army.
Therefore, dear representatives of the United States of America, these boys are your boys too. Your mission is also our mission! It is peace and belief in common values â€‹â€‹that brought us together and made them possible!
As we have demonstrated before, we do not know how to retreat. Our soldiers will be everywhere and whenever our interests and the values â€‹â€‹we believe in are at stake, but also those of the United States and our other allies. So, to be clear, whoever threatens the United States of America and our other allies has also threatened the Republic of Kosovo. So in Kosovo, America and other allies will always find their most loyal ally!
You are heading towards a new sacrifice, which will not only be yours, but also of your families and the entire state. We will fell proud of your contribution and from here I express my readiness for the further development of operational capacities with modern equipment, improving care and increasing your motivation.
With this mission, you are given the opportunity to prove your dignity, professionalism and interaction skills, a path that you have started since 2018 when you started the transformation into a modern army, but also much earlier in every step you have taken.
This process is expected to last eight years, so this peacekeeping mission will be in function of testing the capacity of our soldiers to serve within the peacekeeping forces, and why not even to shorten the time frame for the transformation of the KSF and achieving Full Operational Capacities. I have no doubt that the tactical-physical and operational training of our soldiers will be at the highest level and in accordance with the required standards.
You, dear military, will not only be our first peacekeepers, but also ambassadors of peace! You will be the image of our state, you will be our pride!
Our strength cultivates and sublimates the highest values and standards of modern Western doctrine. In addition to our main mission for the territorial protection and state sovereignty of the country and the protection of our citizens, this Force also reflects the ethnic, cultural, religious diversity in all dimensions of our society as an inalienable value.
Our forces are being built according to the standards of NATO member and partner countries to be interoperable and ready to participate in peacekeeping operations within the Joint Multinational Force, as part of operations with US forces today, in Partnership for Peace program tomorrow, or as the newest member of NATO in the near future.
This is our constitutional and legal mission and task, this is our strategic vision and objective!
As politicians, we may even disagree on many topics, debate and discuss perhaps even fiercely sometimes - this is part of our democracy, but when it comes to our girls and boys in uniform, when it comes to you, your families, our army, as politicians, but above all as citizens of this Republic we all stand united. We are all proud of you.
Dear peacekeepers, I have full confidence that you will glorify the name of the state of the Republic of Kosovo and the dignity of our Force!
Wave our beloved flag high and proudly,
Good luck and may you return healthy from your mission!
God bless you all!
God bless the Republic of Kosovo!
God bless the United States of America and the lasting friendship with them!