Barack Obama's Letter to the National Albanian American Council
I appreciate the opportunity to share a few thoughts with everyone gathered here tonight for the National Albanian American Council’s 12th Annual Awards Dinner. Albanian Americans are an important part of America’s melting pot, both in my hometown of Chicago, and around the country. You are also a vital link to an important part of the world where America and our allies must remain vigilant and energetic in our pursuit of a just and lasting peace.
As President, I will continue to pay close attention to the Balkans. I support Kosovo’s independence and its desire to move towards full sovereignty. I believe the United States should help the development of a vibrant democracy in Kosovo, secured through the rule of law that ensures the interests of all people. I endorse Kosovo’s integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions, which will be advanced through the establishment of a free, tolerant and prosperous society that promotes minority rights and protects religious and cultural sites.
My administration will also work towards the development of a prosperous market economy in Kosovo by focusing on economic development and job creation, and assistance to build Kosovo’s infrastructure and its energy sector. I applaud the significant achievements of Albania and hope that Albania’s aspiration to join NATO can be realized in the near future.
I wish you all the best as you work to increase the political involvement of Albanian Americans and support democracy in the Balkans.