Senator John McCain after receiving Kosovo’s Presidential Medal of Honor: “I am undeserving, but deeply honored by this recognition from the government and people of Kosovo. I am deeply proud to have returned to Kosovo for the first time since its independence, and to have borne witness to the incredible progress this country has made. A strong, democratic, multi-ethnic, and independent Kosovo is essential to the success of a Europe whole, free, and at peace. That is why the United States of America will always stand with Kosovo as a friend and ally.” (Office of John McCain)

President of Kosovo Hashim Thaci: 

Prime Minister Ramush HaradinajI will never forget the first meeting with US hero, Senator John McCain, in 1999. With the pain of the losses that the war brings, I had remained petrified when the American hero asked me as soon as he saw me: ‘What can I do for you young man?’

Although surprised by the question so directly, I asked for help in the release of Albanians who were still being held as prisoners in Serbia, and that was the first topic of his meetings with Serbian officials.

It was a privilege to meet a great man like McCain. The people of Kosovo are with our American friends and praying for his family. (Facebook of PM Ramush Haradinaj)

 

US Ambassador to Kosovo Greg Delawie:

Kosovo Foreign Minister Begjet Pacolli:

Former Prime Minister of Kosovo Isa Mustafa:

Speaker of Parliament of Kosovo Kadri Veseli:

Kosovo Ambassador to the United States Vlora Citaku:

Kosovo Embassy in the US Deputy Chief of Mission Frymezin Isufaj

Kosovo MP and First Woman Mayor in Kosovo Mimoza Kusari:

A theater in Gjilan mourned the passing of the Maverick:

Excerpts of Senator John McCain’s Remarks to the Kosovo Assembly in April 2017:

“I come here to Kosovo after visiting Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. After my stay here—which I must admit is far too short—I will also visit Albania. As I travel through Southeastern Europe, my message is simple: the United States’ commitment to the vision of a Europe whole, free, and at peace remains ironclad. And my friends, a strong, democratic, multi-ethnic, and independent Kosovo that is a full member of the European family is essential to the success of that vision.

You may have heard that we occasionally have some disagreements back in Washington. But I want you to know that Members of the United States Congress in both political parties are fully committed to working with you to support peace and prosperity in Kosovo and throughout the wider region.

Indeed the United States’ commitment to Kosovo has been bipartisan from the very beginning. I have many fond memories of the 1990s working closely with then-Democratic Senator Joe Biden to push for a coherent U.S. strategy in the Balkans, for swift and decisive action to stop the bloodshed in Kosovo, and, ultimately, for Kosovo’s independence.

And today, it gives me great pride to stand before you on my first visit to Kosovo since your independence and to bear witness to the remarkable progress you have made. 

Reconciliation is difficult. Reconciliation takes a long time. But let Kosovo be the nation that shows the world once again that reconciliation is possible. And as you do, as Kosovo walks this long and difficult road, you will not walk alone. America, and I, will be with you.

“It was a stark reminder of the old adage that while history does not repeat itself, it does rhyme. There is no denying the fact that this region, which sits at the crossroads of history, confronts increasing tensions. Together, we must answer the question: will we allow the past define our future? Or will we choose, informed as we are by the lessons of history, to define a new and better future for ourselves and our children? I have come to Kosovo to say that I believe we must, and we will, choose that new and better future. Thank you.” (full remarks at Office of Senator John McCain)

Senator John McCain’s memories from Kosovo in April 2017: