17 of February 2008 did not come easy, but has made its way in history

Remarks at the Gala dinner organized by Illyria Newspaper to commemorate the Fifth Anniversary of the Independence of Kosova


By Ambassador Ferit Hoxha

Thank you Vehbi and Ilyria Newspaper for organizing this wonderul event. I am delighted to be here and celebrate together the Fifth Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Kosova.
17 of February 2008 did not come easy; The excellent movie we just watched is the perfect testimony, a painful but eloquent proof of what has happened in Kosova during the last 25 years. Yet, the Day has made it way in history. What was wrong during a whole century was finally made right. What was the nightmare in modern-time Europe transformed into a dream and nowadays we have an ever-stronger reality.
Albania will always be particularly grateful to the United States Government and people fore their historic contribution. Together with European allies they made sure that Kosova’ s future doesn’t belong to the past. This cannot and will not be forgotten.
Freedom is what we wanted in Albania, in Kosova and everywhere in the Balkans. Freedom is what we now have, and we know, Freedom works. But it comes with responsibility and accountability. We are accountable to ourselves, to our partners and all those who made we enjoy it today.
On his day, we look back and with satisfaction we realize that in the course of the last five years democracy has taken rot in Kosova, a vibrant young population is eager to actively contribute on facing the challenges of economic development and progress, international recognition has further advanced and integration of Kosova into the euro-atlantik and world mainstream is well underway.
And on top of it, everywhere including finally in Belgrade, it is now clear and well understood that Kosova’s Independence has reinforced regional stability; it has contributed towards building better regional cooperation ties, it has boosted the overall idea of a common European future in peace and mutual respect.
Two days ago the Albanian parliament held a special session in commemorating the fifth anniversary of Kosova’s Independence. The Prime Minister of Albania, Dr. Sali Berisha said « Kosova’s Independence is, after World War II and the fall of Iron Curtain, the biggest even not only in regard to freedom for Albanians, but also freedom for the Balkans and the whole European continent ».
With these words, let me wish everyone a Happy Independence Day.
Gëzuar Pavarësinë.
Thank you.

(Ambassador Ferit Hoxha is the Permanent Representative of Albania to the United Nations)