Posts Tagged ‘Belgrade’

As always, on her final swing through the Balkans as Secretary of State, Mme. Secretary held meet-and-greets at the American embassies before departing each country. Here are her remarks to staffs and families.

Meeting with Embassy Zagreb Staff and Their Families


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Merten
Esplanade Hotel
Zagreb, Croatia
November 1, 2012

AMBASSADOR MERTEN: Good morning, everybody. I have the great pleasure to introduce someone who needs no introduction, as you all know.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you. (Laughter.)

AMBASSADOR MERTEN: We are, Madam, Secretary, on behalf of my colleagues here at the Embassy and also for our operation host, we’re delighted to welcome you to Zagreb. We and the Embassy team had a great time preparing for your visit, and I think – I know our Croatian hosts were very delighted to welcome you here. It means a lot to all of us.

Without any further ado, our Secretary of State, Ms. Hillary Clinton.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Ken. (Applause.) Well, it is wonderful to be here in Zagreb and to have a chance to visit with all of you. It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for actually four years, so I’m glad I’m finally here. And it’s also a great pleasure to be here with Ambassador Merten. Before joining you in Croatia, Ken was our Ambassador in Haiti. Before that, he helped fly me around the world by providing all kinds of logistical and other support. He has been a great leader because he was our Ambassador during the earthquake in Haiti and all of the work we did afterwards to try to rebuild Haiti. And I also know he’s had a smooth transition thanks to Hoyt Yee. Is Hoyt here? Hoyt, thank you. Thank you for your leadership as chargé. We really appreciated it.

Yesterday when I met with the President and the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, we spoke about how much progress Croatia has made on the path to European integration. We look forward to final EU membership next year. And we are delighted at our relationship, which has never been closer. You’re doing so much to promote educational opportunities for bright young Croatians to study overseas. You’re working with Croatian leaders to help strengthen rule of law to fight corruption. You’re working with Croatia on behalf of change in the rest of the region so that other nations can follow the Croatian model.

I also very much appreciate the annual Ron Brown Forum that the Embassy hosts. Ron was a dear friend of my husband’s and mine, and as you know, he was on a mission to bring economic empowerment and opportunity to the Balkans, and he died along with 34 others, Americans and Croatians, in that 1996 plane crash. But his memory and legacy live on with the forum and we greatly appreciate the work that you are doing.

I also brought with me wandering around back there the highest-ranking Croatian American in the Obama Administration, Ambassador Croatia Marshall – I feel that’s her name – (laughter) – Ambassador Capricia Penavic Marshall, right there in the blue, who has been a great friend and associate. But I’d like all the Croatian staff to raise their hand now. Will everyone, all of our Croatian staff – well, no, no, Capricia, you’re actually – (applause) – you’re on the American staff side. But let’s give a big round of applause to our Croatian staff. (Applause.) We’ve had strong relations for 20 years. Have any of you been with us for 20 years? Any of our Croatian team been with – ah, these two young women who – I think we started them and there’s another one; we started when you were 10. (Laughter.)

But I have to say, as you have learned, ambassadors come and go, certainly secretaries come and go, but what remains are our locally employed staff who truly are the brain trust, the memory bank, of every single post. So this is a full team effort. I want to thank all of our American team, civilian and military, Foreign Service and Civil, State and USAID and every other agency. I also want to thank the families. I know that these young people are getting a little anxious to get a picture and I’m going to hurry up because I want to do that for them. But then I want to shake as many hands as possible in order to express personally my gratitude to you. We’re very, very grateful. We see this as a consequential, important relationship going forward. And we want to see Croatia really anchor further progress in the region.

Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

Meeting with Staff and Families of Embassy Tirana


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Sheraton Hotel
Tirana, Albania
November 1, 2012

Thank you. Thank you very, very much. It is absolutely wonderful to be here and have a chance to see each and every one of you in person to thank you for everything you are doing on behalf of this incredibly important and valuable relationship between the United States and Albania. And thank you, Ambassador, for your leadership here in Tirana and thanks also to your wife and your daughter, and let me also express appreciation to DCM Henry Jardine.

Thank you all for the work you put into my visit here, because I’ve been wanting to come – I told the President and the Prime Minister that I usually go to places we have some kind of problem with. We don’t have any problems with Albania, and so I – (applause) – really had to advocate hard and say, “We must go to Albania.” And the Ambassador is right – it’s a very busy and active time back home in the United States, but I am thrilled to have this chance to be here. It’s much too short a visit. It’s kind of like the appetizer, so I have to come back for the full banquet sometime in the future.

But I think you know how much the United States values our partnership and our friendship, not only with the Government of Albania but with the people of Albania, and it is something that I hold particularly dear. We share important military ties, we strongly supported Albania’s membership in NATO, we are now strongly supporting Albania’s membership in the European Union. What you’re doing, every one of you, is to help us deepen and broaden that, to strengthen democracy, to promote and protect human rights, and to create more economic opportunity.

As I just said in the parliament, the elections next year will be very important for the advancement of democracy in Albania. And I know that elections have posed some challenges in the past, but the role that this Embassy and each of you, American and Albanian alike, can play in monitoring polling places, helping to tally votes, making it clear to our friends here that having a good, free, fair, credible election that meets international standards will skyrocket Albania forward on the path to EU accession.

And just as important as the friendship and partnership we have is what you’re doing to promote social issues and civic engagement. I love the program called Albanians Coming Together Now, because this is a program the Embassy launched to bring together business, civil society, and concerned citizens to help strengthen the ties between the people and their government. And I also want to thank those of you who helped to make Tirana’s recent LGBT conference such a success. We stand for human rights. We stand for relationships between people. And we believe that that serves as the core and foundation of a strong, lasting relationship.

I’m also pleased to be here on the first day of the month that marks the centennial of Albania’s independence. I hear you are preparing a special surprise for the gala concert. I wish I could be here to see what it is, but Ambassador, let me know as soon as you can. And I also want to thank especially our Albanian colleagues. Will all of our Albanian colleagues who work here at the Embassy raise your hand, please, so we can give you a round of applause? (Applause.) I am so grateful to you. Many of you have been with us for years, decades, and as I say everywhere around the world, ambassadors come and go and secretaries come and go, but our locally employed staff provide the continuity, the memory bank, for every single post. And that’s especially true here.

Will those of you have been with the Embassy since we opened our doors in 1991, will you raise your hands? Who’s been here since 1991? We hired you right out of grade school. You have a – (laughter) – so 1991. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

I know that we have our State Department and USAID and our military and civilian agencies represented here. We also have some Peace Corps volunteers, I’m told. Do we have some Peace Corps volunteers here today? Thank you back there. Thank you for what you’re doing. (Applause.)

And I was delighted to walk into a group of beautiful children who are part of our Foreign Service families and our Embassy family here. I bet a few of them might have gone trick or treating on the ridge last night and are probably still suffering from sugar overload. (Laughter.) But when I see that, when I walk into a room like this, it reminds me of why we do the work we do. And that was really my message in the parliament. We all have in a democracy an obligation to try to leave the country that we serve better off for the next generation. And really looking at the faces of those children reminded me of why I do the work I do, and why all of you do what you do, and make such a contribution to a better future for Albania, a better future for our relationship.

I know that my coming, even for a short visit, adds a lot of work to what you do every single day, and I understand the Marine Corps Ball is tomorrow, so I hope you get to relax a little bit. But I want you to know that even though we are far away, we follow closely what you’re doing at this post. We care deeply about this relationship. We want to see Albania become a model not just for the region, but the world. We think it can. We think that the role that Albania can play, is playing, can really shape the history of Europe. The religious tolerance, the role women are playing, the vibrant democracy and economic activity since your freedom from Soviet oppression – all of that is such a strong foundation to build on.

But now the next steps have to be taken, starting with good elections that reflect the will of the people. But then that’s not enough. Whoever gets elected – and we don’t take sides in anybody’s election – we are just on the side of free and fair elections that reflect the will of the people – and once people are elected, holding them to a high standard to produce results for the Albanian people, that’s especially important for young people.

Young people the world over are wondering what kind of future they’re going to have. There is no reason , after everything Albania has gone through – with your independence a hundred years ago, all of the challenges and suffering the parents, grandparents, great grandparents, endured – there is no reason that the future for young people in Albania should not be as bright as it could be anywhere in the world.

And so I am here to express full confidence and optimism in what is possible and to pledge that the United States, through a very active Embassy, will continue to provide support as you grow your democracy and make a real difference first for you, and now next for the rest of the world. Thank you all. (Applause.)

Meeting with Embassy Pristina Staff and their Families


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Swiss Diamond Hotel
Pristina, Kosovo
October 31, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Ambassador. Thank you all so much. Well, I have to say it is wonderful being back here in Pristina and having a chance to see all of you and thank each and every one of you for the work that you are doing. I was here in 2010, and I already have had good reports from the Ambassador about all of the progress that we’re seeing here and that we’re helping to facilitate.

I want to thank you, Ambassador, for your leadership. This is the third time Ambassasdor Jacobson has been an ambassador, and your ears should have been burning in the car ride from the airport as she spoke glowingly about the team here and the work you’re doing, and how significant it is. So her introduction just now was by no means only for public consumption. She is extremely proud, and we are proud of her. And we’re delighted to have her husband David, a British diplomat, lending a hand in this very exciting post.

I also want to thank DCM. Kelly, where – there you are Kelly. Thank you for your hard work. And I think that the exciting aspect of being here at this time is because we can see the progress that is taking place, and we can also work to facilitate the dialogue taking place between Kosovo and Serbia. I will be speaking about that with the leaders that I will be seeing later today.

I also want to recognize someone else. And that is Tristan DeWitt. Where’s Tristan? There you are, Tristan. Tristan and I both have the same birthday. (Laughter.) And Tristan was the first young person to arrive at post since Embassy Pristina opened to family members, so he represents all of the children and the family members who are here now as part of this important community.

I want to also recognize how significant the economic growth has been, and I know that you’re working to promote that, just like you are working to help empower women to be part of the economic and political future of this very young country. I know that many of you had the opportunity to work with Ambassador Larry Rossin, who was our first representative in Kosovo, and he will be certainly missed.

Now today is Halloween, I’m told, so I don’t know what it is planned, but I hope that all of the children here have a happy Halloween. And I especially want to thank our locally employed staff. Will all of our locally employed staff raise your hands, all of our Kosovo colleagues? Thank you so very much. (Applause.) Ambassadors come and go, as do Secretaries, but locally employed staff are the nerve center and the memory bank for every mission, and that’s especially true here as well.

Now as we move forward, I want to emphasize how important it is to have the interagency, whole of government approach, because that’s what we’re standing for in the State Department, that is, as the Ambassador said, the QDDR’s call that diplomacy development work together, our colleagues, military and civilian alike, are part of this great effort to help support this new young country, and to a better future. I’m very proud of what you’re doing. I know the significance of it. And I thank each and every one of you for your contributions.

Now I want to shake some hands and thank you personally. And I’ll start down there and have a chance to do that, but Ambassador, again thank you for your kind words, and thank you for your leadership. (Applause.)

Meeting With Staff and Families of Embassy Belgrade


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Hyatt Regency Hotel
Belgrade, Serbia
October 30, 2012

SECRETARY CLINTON: It’s a great pleasure to be back here in Belgrade. Some of you I know were here when I was able to visit two years ago for a longer visit, but I’m delighted that I was able to come this time to thank each and every one of you for the work that you are doing on behalf of this vital relationship.

And this was a special unified visit, because Cathy Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union, and I started in Bosnia-Herzegovina, came here, will end the night in Pristina, where we’ll meet tomorrow with the leadership of Kosovo to emphasize a single message – that the future of these three countries is in Europe and in the Euro-Atlantic alliance, and that the United States strongly supports their aspirations.

I want to thank Ambassador Kirby and his wife Sara; I want to thank DCM Lee Litzenberger, and the entire Belgrade team for everything you did to prepare for this short visit, but I know that the work goes on day in and day out on so many fronts.

We’ve been clear that before setting a date for accession talks with the EU, Serbia does need to make progress on normalizing its relations with Kosovo. We recognize that Serbia cannot and will not formally recognize Kosovo, but there are lots of steps that the two countries must take together. And I thank you for sending that message on a regular basis.

We’ve also seen the bilateral relationship deepen and broaden. For example, two years ago when I was here, I committed to encouraging American businesses to invest in Serbia, and many of you in this room are making that happen. In fact, we have an economic team winner here today. American auto parts suppliers are key partners in the Fiat factory. Two American companies have opened call centers in Serbia, creating more than 400 jobs. There are a lot of win-win investments.

And I want especially to congratulate the chief of your economic section, Doug Apostol. When I was here two years ago and I spoke with the Prime Minister about a disagreement over risk insurance that was holding up a multimillion-dollar hotel project, Doug and his team got to work, and he was instrumental in helping to get that dispute resolved. That project is now going forward, bringing a number of new good jobs to Serbia. So for these and other efforts, later this year, Doug will receive the Department’s highest award for international economic work. It’s a rare honor and richly deserved. Congratulations, Doug. (Applause.)

Let me also commend each of you who worked so hard in the passage of Serbia’s new property restitution law, making sure it would cover victims of the Holocaust, many of whom are now American citizens. I thank all of you who stood up for the rights of Serbian Americans and helped the government bring this difficult issue to a successful conclusion.

In fact, I cannot imagine that we could be making the progress we are without our dedicated local staff. And I would like all of our Serbian staff members to please raise your hands so that we can recognize and thank each and every one of you. (Applause.) Because one thing I know for sure is that ambassadors, DCMs, secretaries come and go, but our local staff remain. You serve as our institutional memory bank, and we know how important you are.

I also want to thank all the family members who are here. I had a great opportunity to take a picture with some of the children, and they really did show great patience, because our meeting and press conference went a little long, but I was so happy to see them and have a chance to thank them and all of you who support those who serve.

I understand our local staff and FSOs have put together a basketball team, and soon you’re headed to Sarajevo for a tournament with other posts from around the Balkans. Now as Secretary, obviously I can’t take sides in such a competition – (laughter) – but I do want to just note that this is a great way of creating more public diplomacy and outreach as well as some healthy competition.

Now I know that there have been some difficult and risky moments in your service here in Serbia. We saw this when the Embassy was attacked four years ago. But this mission never skipped a beat. You kept doing what needed to be done. And I am very committed to your safety, and when you finally move in to your new Embassy compound, I’m confident it will give you a very safe place to work, as well as a more comfortable one. You will actually even, many of you, have offices with real windows once again. (Laughter.)

I want to thank all of you who serve the United States here in Serbia – civilian and military, U.S. Government across the board, every department and agency, in particular the State Department and USAID. And I’m very grateful to you, because I think this is a consequential relationship. We want to see the people of Serbia have an opportunity to participate fully in Europe and eventually in the Euro-Atlantic alliance. We want to see the people, particularly the young people of Serbia, have a chance to fulfill their own potential and aspirations. And the United States is very firm in our support of that kind of future for Serbia. We can’t do it from Washington; it has to be, done day in and day out, right here in Belgrade and across the country. And in order to do that, we look to each and every one of you.

So thank you for your service. I’ll start down there and shake a few hands and have a chance to thank you personally. Thank you all. (Applause.)

Secretary Clinton Addresses the Staff and Families of Embassy Sarajevo
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, with U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Patrick Moon, meets with the staff and families of Embassy Sarajevo, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, October 30, 2012. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

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Earlier in the week, we saw the dedication of the new embassy compound in Sarajevo.  True to form,  Secretary Clinton held similar meet-and-greets with embassy staff and families both in Belgrade and in Pristina.  Here are her remarks at those events.

Secretary Clinton Meets with Embassy Belgrade Staff and Their Families

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Hyatt Regency Belgrade
Belgrade, Serbia
October 13, 2010

Oh, it is wonderful seeing you, and I want to echo all the remarks of the Ambassador about the extraordinary work that you have done over the last years. And it means a great deal to the United States, to me personally, and to the people of our two countries that you are personally helping to forge a new chapter in our bilateral relationship.

I’m delighted to be starting my day off by seeing all of you and being able to extend my appreciation. I want to thank the Ambassador for her leadership here, your DCM, and all of you for not only what you do every day but for what you’ve done in preparation and execution of my visit and, of course, of Vice President Biden’s last year.

This is such an important time for the Balkans, and in our estimation, the changes that have occurred are really seminal; they mark such a turning point, but it is still not fully determined how this will play out. Serbia and Kosovo are working on a direct dialogue. We just had another election in Bosnia-Herzegovina which brought some hope for better cooperation although still a difficult challenge. Five countries in the region are taking steps to achieve full integration into the Euro-Atlantic community, and we believe that these and other steps promote our shared goals of stability and prosperity throughout the region.

And the United States is committed to helping to advance these goals and assisting these countries as they move forward. Your work with the Government of Serbia and its civil society organizations is helping to strengthen local institutions. I had an excellent visit with a number of the civil society representatives last night that many of you helped to arrange, and it really gave me more insight into the progress but still the remaining challenges that have to be dealt with.

Our military-to-military cooperation is helping to pave the way for Serbia to increase its contributions to global peacekeeping efforts, and the extended 10-year visa eligibility now makes it easier for Serbians to travel to the United States and to form lasting bonds with our people as well.

I know there’s a lot of work ahead, but I’m kind of a “glass is half full” person. I think we look at where we have come from, and yes, there is a lot ahead of us, but we should be proud of the progress that has been made here in Serbia over the last 10 years.

Just a decade ago, Serbia was still making the transition to a democratically elected government and we were working to restore diplomatic relations between our two countries. In fact, it was just 10 years ago this week that a small group of Americans and local staff members met here at this hotel to begin planning the reopening of U.S. Embassy Belgrade. A number of the local staff who helped reopen the Embassy are here today, so I’d like you to raise your hand – all of you who were here working for this Embassy 10 years ago – so I can see you and thank you very much for those 10 years of service that led to this day.

I think that there is a big agenda on the economic development front that we are going to be pursuing, and I’m excited that we’ve broken ground on a new Embassy compound, where we’ll be able to set the gold standard for diplomatic missions in Serbia. And it will be able to house our various aspects of the mission in one place, so there’ll be a lot of coordination and cooperation. It will set a high standard for energy efficient technology and the green standard for U.S. embassies around the world. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing it finished the summer of 2012, but probably not as much as you are.

But every one of you – Foreign Service, Civil Service, representatives of other U.S. Government agencies, local staff – your families have sacrificed a great deal to advance our work over the past 10 years. Some of you may have been here when the Embassy was attacked two years ago. How many of you were here for that? And you had to evacuate your families or had to be evacuated yourselves. Some of you chose to stay even through tough and uncertain times.

Whatever your role in whatever capacity, I want to thank each of you for the hours you’ve put in and the spirit that you bring to your work each day. I am very impressed by what this government is attempting to do, by the vision that President Tadic has of what is possible for Serbia in the future. We don’t have a vote as the United States in the European Union, but if I did have a vote, I’d vote today to begin the accession process, because I think it will be to Serbia’s great advantage to be integrated into Europe, to be a member of the European Union. Serbia has so much to contribute. And I’m personally going to be lobbying members of the EU when I see them in Brussels tonight to carry the message that Serbia is ready and Serbia should not be kept waiting.

And I know too when someone like me comes, it just adds so much extra work. I didn’t expect them to shut down the city – (laughter) – but I’m sure that’s made it more complicated to get around. But you all deserve to take a deep breath and a sigh of relief when I finally take off from the airport. But I am really pleased to have this chance to personally express our gratitude to you. I know how important the work that you do every day is. I mean, I can come in, a Secretary of State can come in, a Vice President can come in, but it’s the day-to-day connections that really matter that build the strong bonds between our people. And I want to see those bonds strengthened and deepened, and I want the relationship between our governments to grow and I want to see Serbia play a larger and larger role in regional and global affairs. And I think with your help, we can contribute to making that happen. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)


Secretary Clinton Meets with Embassy Pristina Staff and Their Families

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Grand Hotel
Pristina, Kosovo
October 13, 2010

Well, it is wonderful visiting the world’s youngest country and meeting, as the Ambassador just said, one of our nation’s youngest and most dynamic embassy teams. I am delighted to have this opportunity to come here. I came in part to support your work, in part to encourage the government and people of Kosovo, and in part to see the statue of my husband. (Laughter and applause.)

I want to thank the Ambassador, and Chris, you’re doing a great job here with your leadership, and your DCM, Michael Murphy, who is also doing an excellent job leading this mission here in Kosovo. And I too want to acknowledge the special guests, the number of the American troops who are serving the KFOR. KFOR is NATO’s second-largest mission behind Afghanistan, and you’ve done such an extraordinary job. I’m proud of the role that the United States troops have played. I’m particularly pleased to welcome the (inaudible) National Guard, which is one of the largest National Guards in the United States, and to thank you for your service.

I just participated in an excellent discussion with some of this country’s young people. And before that, the Ambassador and I visited with some of the newly elected mayors of the Serbian majority municipality, and before that, with the leadership of the country – the acting president, the prime minister, the foreign minister, and others. And in each case, you probably entered ears burning because the work that you do was recognized. I was thanked for the visit and the (inaudible) – what you do for diplomacy and what you do for development.

So I want to thank everyone who’s a part of Embassy Pristina and tell you that your work is being acknowledged, and I am the one who was thanked when indeed each and every one of you should be thanked for everything you’ve done to help set Kosovo on the path toward integration into the Euro-Atlantic community, a real commitment to the growth of democratic institutions and improvement in the economy and service to this (inaudible) people of this country.

Now, we are going to be working very hard with our EU partners to support a direct dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade and to set the stage for a new relationship between Kosovo and Serbia. I thank you for your long hours that you have put in, both our civilians and our military members, because you have demonstrated unequivocally that the United States is Kosovo’s closest friend and ally, and that our voice will continue to advocate for Kosovo’s recognition. Both Beth Sreenan and Merita Stublla-Emini have been a driving force, encouraging Kosovo to strengthen the rule of law.

So where are Beth and Merita? Where are Beth and Merita? There they are. I want to thank you both. For the last year, the government has passed reforms to modernize the court system and create a professional, nonpolitical corps of judges. That’s a very important step to support this young democracy. Another of our priorities is to urge citizens to embrace Kosovo’s diversity as one of its core strengths. Jose Garzon, Jeton Cana, and Fred Boll have helped persuade Kosovo Serbs of the south to engage in legitimate Kosovo institutions and establish municipalities. So where are Jose, Jeton, and Fred? Where are they? Oh, thank you. (Applause.)

The country has also made some notable progress in combating human trafficking, and I would like to thank Angelica Maviki and Laura Salihu for working with the Government of Kosovo to develop and implement an anti-trafficking strategy, which is really an anti-slavery strategy. So where are they? Let me thank them for their work. (Applause.)

I would like to thank our Public Affairs officer, Emilia Puma, for leading the Embassy’s first foray into (inaudible). (Applause.) I am a very big believer in these new forms of communication. Getting people to organize, to talk to each other, discuss an issue, search for a solution (inaudible) American interests and certainly our diplomatic efforts.

Now, a lot has changed in the last year, and I don’t just mean the invention of Twitter or Facebook. When we first opened the U.S. office in Pristina in 1999, it employed just a few intrepid Americans and a crew of dedicated local staff who worked around the clock to press for peace in Kosovo. Today, we have more than 400 people working at our Embassy. And you could not have come this far without our excellent locally engaged staff, and I’d like all of our Kosovo staff to raise your hand so that we can thank each and every one of you. (Applause.) We could not do this work without your expertise and experience. Many of you have been with us for 10 years or even more, and I’m very grateful for your commitment.

Now, I know that there is another change coming this summer that will be further progress. And that is that for years, we did not allow children to accompany their parents here to this post. It was, frankly, just too dangerous. But next year, families with children will arrive at post for the first time, and that is tangible proof of the progress that Kosovo has made. And I, for one, am delighted that in the youngest nation in Europe, you’ll have some young Americans here (inaudible). (Applause.)

So I thank you for what you do every day, but I know that extra work goes into a visit like mine. It’s not easy preparing everything that we have to do. So I doubly thank you for the effort you made for this very successful trip of mine. So Kosovo is a place where America’s interests, America’s values, and America’s hope for the future all intersect. We have such a great opportunity to see our work make a difference in people’s lives. And so I thank you. I thank you for your commitment to our relationship with the people of Kosovo.

I was asked at the town hall interview just now what I thought, and I told the young people who were there that I am very optimistic about Kosovo, but I’m also a realist. I know it’s going to take work. There is still a lot to be done. Important changes don’t happen quickly, whether it’s in the life of a person or the life of a nation. But Kosovo is on the right track and the United States will do everything we can to be your partner and your friend as you continue down this track toward a better future.

So I look forward to continuing to work with you, with the government and people of Kosovo, and I am absolutely confident that we will see many positive changes in the years to come. Thank you all very, very much. (Applause.)




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Ah! But this is only part of the story! See the slideshow below the text of President Tadic greeting her upon her arrival in Belgrade. Shades of Shah Mahmoud Qureshi and Ecuador’s President Correa.


Remarks Following Her Meeting with Serbian President Boris Tadic

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Belgrade, Serbia
October 12, 2010

Date: 10/12/2010 Description: Serbian President Boris Tadic speaks with Secretary Clinton in Belgrade, Serbia, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010. © AP ImageSECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, Mr. President. And thank you for the warm welcome that you have extended and the opportunity we’ve had to discuss in depth and at length a number of issues, many of which you mentioned in your statement.
For me personally, it is a great honor to be here in Serbia ten years after the people of this country began to reclaim their own future. That victory of the people’s will was a milestone in the long struggle to build Serbia’s democracy. And in the decade that has followed, Serbia has made great progress, and we, speaking on behalf of the United States, owe a debt of gratitude to all of those who helped create that progress: members of Serbia’s civil society; its political leaders, Mr. President; and of course, the citizens themselves.
It is not any mystery why democracy is the preferred political system in the 21st century, because it does give individuals the opportunity to pursue their own dreams within a political system that recognizes the need for supporting the individual and yet moving forward with determination of a nation.
Serbia, of course, like any country, still faces challenges today, but it is very clear to me that Serbia is on a path toward greater partnership with the Euro-Atlantic community and stronger relations with its neighbors. The United States is committed to working with Serbia as you advance toward these goals.
When President Tadic and I have spoken on previous occasions – by telephone, in person, and particularly today – I have underscored that we have an interest in the peace and prosperity of this region. And we are encouraged that many countries are moving toward greater integration with the European Union. But no country has more to gain than Serbia. EU membership could help transform Serbia’s economy and anchor the entire region in Europe.
Achieving the goal of EU integration requires leadership. And Mr. President, you have been providing that leadership. Now, there are areas where, as the President said, we will not agree, and foremost among them is Kosovo. But we believe that the September 9th United Nations General Assembly resolution provides a good basis for a meaningful, forward-looking dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. That dialogue can and will benefit people in Kosovo and Serbia by addressing practical, day-to-day issues and the long-term relationship between you. It will also have a positive impact on the relationship between Serbia, your neighbors, Europe, and the United States.
I also want publicly to thank Serbia for your strong cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. I appreciate all that has been done by your government, particularly your law enforcement officials, and I appreciate again hearing from President Tadic the high priority that Serbia places on fulfilling its remaining obligations to the Tribunal. I have stated publicly and I will state again that Serbia is making a good-faith effort on behalf of arresting (inaudible) fugitive, and that effort should be recognized by others.
I also thank President Tadic and your government for your commitment to protect the human rights of all the citizens of your country. I especially want to commend the bravery of the police who provided security for the event for last Sunday’s pride parade. It was not easy, and yet we watched as the official law enforcement forces demonstrated unequivocally your support for the rights of all.
Let me close by reaffirming our admiration for the progress that has taken place here in Serbia over the last decade. As Vice President Biden said when he was here, the United States values Serbia as a country with not only a tremendous history, but more importantly a vast potential. We believe in the potential of Serbia. Serbian Americans have made many contributions to the growth and development of the United States, and we are absolutely convinced that Serbia can become not only a member of the European Union but a leader in Europe, an example in Europe. And the United States is committed to working with you to help you build a better future for this country, for your people, and for this region.
Mr. President, thank you for not only your words today, but more importantly, your vision and your leadership and your actions in pursuit of that vision over the past years; and know that you will have a partner as you continue down this path toward European integration and toward building the kind of Serbia that the children of Serbia deserve to have. Thank you very much. 

Dancing with the Stars … Hillary will end up there yet!  This deserves background music, a Strauss waltz would be nice. But my earworm keeps singing “Another One Bites The Dust.”

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