Remarks
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.)

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PRN: 2012/ T73-10