Prishtina, February 28 – The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, attended today the Memorial Academy for the 20th Anniversary of the Likoshan and Çirez Massacre, which was organized under his patronage.
President Thaçi said that with the highest state honors we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the sacrifice of the martyrs of Likoshan and Çirez, fallen for the freedom and the independence of Kosovo.
“This anniversary is coinciding with the marking of the 10th Anniversary of the Independence of Kosovo. Our citizens celebrated with dignity the jubilee year of their state. This historic achievement of Kosovo would not be made possible without the sacrifice and blood of your beloved ones here and twenty years ago”, he said.
Speaking of the war period, President Thaçi emphasized that on February 28, 1998, Kosovo entered a new political and military phase.
He said that the findings of British journalist, Anthony Loyd, that at the “Tree with six stumps” (Lisi Gjashtënjak) in Likoshan the last phase of the collapse of Yugoslavia with its six former republics commeced, was not incidental.
President Thaçi added that after the massacre in Likoshan and Çirez, the attack on Prekaz did not delay, where the Epopee of the Kosovo Liberation Army happened, headed by legendary commander Adem Jashari.
“Kosovo was entering the inevitable imposition of the war for freedom. The Kosovo Liberation Army grew more and more each day. The violence of the Serbian police and army did not stop for a single moment in 1998-1999. On the contrary, it deepened even more with the massacres of Abria, Reçak, Izbica, Rezalla, Krusha, Meja, Qyshk and many others”, he said.
This sacrifice, according to President Thaçi, together with the resistance of the KLA and all the citizens for freedom and independence, as well as the orientation towards Western civilization values, made Kosovo gain the support of the democratic world, the USA, the EU and NATO.
“The free and independent Kosovo, the dream of many generations that were sacrificed, became reality. As a new state and a new democracy, we know that we have to do much for the well-being of our citizens, for the strengthening of civic unity, for the strengthening of the institutions and for Kosovo’s position in the international arena”, he said.
The President has said that two decades of freedom and a decade of independence are a short period of time for historical epochal changes.
He added that Kosovo has moved forward, consolidating as a state recognized by 116 countries and becoming a member of hundreds of important international organizations.
“Despite the challenges, the only strategic objective and option of Kosovo is clear, the Euro-Atlantic integration into NATO, the EU and the UN. Kosovo never forgets its past, glorious and proud, but also painful at the same time”, said President Thaçi.
Despite the bitter history, President Thaçi said that Kosovo as an independent state has become a country that produces peace and stability in the region, but not forgetting the fact that the perpetrators of crimes, massacres and genocide have not yet been brought to justice.
“The Kosovo Liberation Army and our citizens have developed a fair and defensive war on their land, for freedom, dignity and independence. Today, anyone who tries and claims to spot the upright war of the KLA will fail. Its purity is the purity of the ideal of freedom”, said President Thaçi, adding that its mission has been and will remain a bright chapter of our liberation history.
Expressing the feelings of the deepest respect for the martyrs of Likoshan and Çirez, President Thaçi has said to their families that he unites with their pain and pride and that in all this pain the fact that their children are growing in the free and democratic Republic of Kosovo is comforting.
For the deeds of courage, the contribution and sacrifice in the KLA war, President Thaçi on the 20th anniversary of the fall decorated with the order “Hero of Kosovo” the martyrs Rexhep Ajet Rexhepi and Beqir Brahim Rexhepi