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The speech of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaqi, upon “Doctor Honoris Causa” award ceremony from University of Tirana

Tirana, 12 January 2015 – Honoured present, I came to this ceremony from Paris, where yesterday we were united with the all democratic world in the white march for solidarity with French people. Kosovo and Albania once again proved commitment to respect and cultivation of world civilised values. Joint honouring that Albanian religious clergy made to victims of terrorism in Paris, was as magnificent as impressive and was applauded from the entire world. We proved tolerance, entente and solidarity of Albanian nation.

Kosovo and Albania belong to the Euro-Atlantic political family and the Albanian nation is distinguished as one of the most tolerant and solidary  European nation. It is a great pleasure for me that thanks to this award, I will have another formal relation, except the spiritual, with the University of Tirana.  This hearth of science has provided many generations with knowledge and skills and cultivated thousands of students with patriotism. The role of this institution is particularly special when it comes to their valuable contribution that academics of Tirana given in the studies of history, language and cultural heritage of the Albanian people.

I would like to express special gratitude for those professors of University of Tirana which came to the occupied Kosovo, some decades before, and provided us valuable help in the creation and consolidation of University “Hasan Prishtina”. This strongly influenced also the establishment of Freedom of Movement in Kosovo. I feel truly honoured and respected not only for the title but also for the motivation of this award. Freedom is best found as cultivated, supported and protected in university environments.

Another irreplaceable historical role of University of Tirana, worth mentioning, is the one to finally collapse communism and to open ways towards freedom and democracy through Movement of December 1990, which had the genesis and support exactly in this oasis of knowledge. Also, our fight for freedom, equality and national dignity originates in the University of Prishtina, in the massive protests of students in 1968, 1981, 1989 and 1997.

Indeed, my political commitment has commenced while being in the university, over two decades before. Seizing this opportunity, from this podium, to express again, on my people of Kosovo behalf, the deepest gratitude for the enormous help provided to us during the tragic strogle that we have been through. The entire globe was surprised by generosity and hospitality provided by the poorest state in Europe, which had just emerged from a devastating trauma of the vicious year 1997. Through the generous solidarity, the Albanian people showed to the entire world that: neither 50 years of totalitarian isolation of communism in Albania nor 100 years of  occupation of Kosovo, have never achieved to diminish the aspiration for freedom and our national unity! In these moments, I cannot find the strongest words to thank those tens of thousands families, even though financially poor, they made everything to provide us a shelter.

You were there for us in difficult moments! I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you, because the freedom that we enjoy today would not be possible without your support. I especially thank some of the political protagonists of that time for their personal valuable contribution; we have the honour that some of them are among us today, Mr. Mejdani, Mr. Majko, Mr. Hajdaraga, Mr. Brokaj etc. Me and my battle comrades, very often consider you as our backline to the Kosovo Liberation Army. I dedicate this honouree freedom motivated doctorate to all my fallen comrades.

We all humble with honour to their dedication to the freedom, not sparing nether their life. Greatest honour and praise belongs to them. This title is dedicated to the struggle for freedom of peaceful people of Kosovo, which only after exhausting all other forms of resistance and political commitment - when the patience was over - stud up to protect their homes. Our struggle was fair and dignified, therefore we won the hearts of the entire free world. Thanks to our fair cause and the way conduct, we managed to win the unconditional support of core democratic countries, USA and other allies of NATO, which intervened militarily for our liberation.

Commemoration of the liberation wars and countless heroes of Albanian people, since the national movement commenced with Prizren League, it is not only a obligation and moral responsibility to the past but also a source of inspiration for the future. I am sure that the new generations will praise and utilize much better the freedom that they enjoy today by recognizing the past. Therefore the freedom shall not be taken for granted. That renaissance relay baton shall continue even today but with other means.

We all must do our best in our duties, by not abusing freedom and by facing the challenges of the future with optimism, courage and self-confidence. My first mission in life was the freedom of the country; the second was the independence and consolidation of Independent Republic of Kosovo. Today, the state of Kosovo is honoured and recognised internationally. Kosovo, as the newest European state is rapidly consolidating its role in the international arena. Kosovo is now recognized by 108 countries around the world and is a member of several important, regional, European and world organizations. 
Kosovo has established an eternal friendship with the United States of America and paved its irreversible European path. Integration in NATO, European Union and United Nations Organization is the aim, willingness and vision of the state of Kosovo and its people. Honourable leaders and representatives of the University of Tirana, I accept this title with humble, pride and gratitude. I assure you that this title is not only a privilege but also an obligation to continue working with commitment for the future of Kosovo and its people. Thank you!

STATEMENT By H.E. Mr. Hashim Thaçi Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of KosovoFirst Deputy Prime Minister Thaçi for “EurActiv”: Kosovo’s European future edges closerKosovo's New Foreign Policy RoadmapStatement by H.E. Mr. Hashim Thaçi, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, at the United Nations Security Council