Honourable representatives of the institutions of Kosovo,
Dear military officers and non-commissioned officers
Today, on this special day of yours and the most important for the Force of the Republic of Kosovo, I have the special honour and pleasure, that as the Acting President of the Republic to address you who are synonymous to citizenship, the defence of the sovereignty and inviolability of the territory of our Republic.
The Army of Kosovo has been built on the foundations of the historical sacrifice of the Albanian people, it has come to life on the legacy of the armed resistance, on the sublime sacrifice of Commander Adem Jashari and the Jashari family, but it has grown and developed on your vision for a modern army, which is professionally and tactically capable to defend the homeland at all times.
Today it is turning into a modern army, thanks to the perseverance and sacrifice of our girls and boys, but also the early and permanent friendship with our western allies, first of all with the United States of America, the roots of an early alliance which were renewed by our historic president, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova.
The military uniform is a lifelong dream of many young people and the greatest honour that can be felt by all those whose life goal is the service to the homeland. Today, the Army of Kosovo is the symbol of this service and this pride. You should be proud that you are part of a military formation which has a sacred mission: the protection of the territorial integrity and security of the citizens of the Republic. We as a country and as a nation have never had intentions of invasion; our only goal and mission was and remains the protection of our homeland. Therefore, we will work tirelessly to make the Kosovo we want as a safe, economically developed country, integrated into NATO and the European Union, a reality.
Dear members of the Armed Forces!
The Armed Forces are a synonym of statehood and the realization of the vision of the ideators of the state of Kosovo. They reflect our freedom-loving but determined spirit. Our girls and boys in uniform are professionally educated and prepared, trained to the highest NATO standards and ready for missions inside and outside the country, in partnership with our Western allies. The KSF will be a contributor to peace and security, participating in peace support operations around the world. It has built significant professional capacity and is ready to carry out not only demining, search and rescue operations and control and management of chemicals, but also much larger and more important missions.
The new KSF officers and non-commissioned officers, who are being educated in the world’s most renowned military academies, such as West Point in the USA and Sandhurst in England, are showing culminating results, they are demonstrating this willingness and readiness. They are the best reflection of our country and our greatest pride. They are the honour of the Republic of Kosovo.
Therefore, I am happy to emphasize your and our readiness that, in close partnership with our allies, to expand our mission, becoming a guarantor of peace for the country and a creator and keeper of peace abroad.
Therefore, on this special day, we cannot but express our gratitude to our allies, first of all, the NATO forces, the armies of friend countries, which are taking care every day so that our Armed Forces shall further develop and gradually transform into a professional military force interacting with NATO forces.
We are ready to further strengthen and deepen this strategic partnership. Therefore, NATO membership remains a strategic objective of our Republic for which we will be committed with all our potential.
This year, Kosovo marked the 21st anniversary of freedom and the 12th anniversary of statehood. On these anniversaries we recalled our path and our glory. We recalled our sacrifice for freedom and the price paid. But we also recalled our endurance, our vision and the values that unite us. As we have emphasized before, on the anniversaries of freedom and independence, no one better than the people of Kosovo understands, in essence, the importance of living in a free and secure country, where political and civil liberties are guaranteed for all without distinction. We will achieve this goal together, but commitment and institutional support is needed. The budget of the KSF must be untouchable. Kosovo has and must provide sufficient funds to ensure that the transformation of the KSF takes place even earlier than planned. The Republic of Kosovo must very quickly become an exporter of security outside our territory in peace making and peacekeeping missions of our allies. In order for this transition to end, budgetary and institutional support is needed for our Force. I guarantee you that, as Supreme Commander in the capacity of the Acting President, you will have my support in this direction and also in every effort and action of yours towards the strengthening of this very important pillar of our state.
Happy Forces Day.
God bless our Forces and our Kosovo.
Honours to the homeland!