2021 demonstrated the perseverance and the resilience of Kosovo and Kosovans. It also proved the partnership between the United States and Kosovo is stronger than ever. Here are just a few examples of the progress we’ve made together this year:
The United States donated over half a million life-saving Pfizer vaccine doses to protect Kosovans and assist you in fighting the pandemic – the largest vaccine donation by any country to Kosovo. We’ve also provided over 6 million dollars in other COVID-19 related assistance to help children and schools, medical facilities, and families, and to help underserved communities get better information and access to vaccines throughout Kosovo.
The KSF’s first international co-deployment alongside the U.S. Army in Kuwait was a true milestone — not only for Kosovo’s own defense, but as a demonstration of Kosovo’s willingness to embrace responsibilities beyond its borders that contribute to regional and global security.
Despite the pandemic, our flagship international exchange programs continue to thrive, forging lifetime connections between Kosovans and Americans. This year, the United States and Kosovo signed a groundbreaking agreement to significantly increase investment in the Fulbright Program, ensuring that new generations of students, scholars, researchers, and specialists will join the hundreds of alumni who have already returned home to Kosovo to make significant contributions to improve education, job opportunities, governance and regional cooperation.
Additionally, there are 19 young people from all over Kosovo who are currently studying in the U.S. these yes program participants are going to American high schools, living with American families, and sharing Kosovo’s culture and history with Americans.
Through these dynamic exchanges, students, professionals, and academics are representing Kosovo to new generations of Americans and ensuring that our two countries continue to be sources of good will and cooperation across the globe.
On rule of law, we strengthened our cooperation with and assistance to Kosovo law enforcement, justice institutions, and civil society to help them combat corruption, ensure judicial and prosecutorial independence, increase transparency, assist victims, and deliver justice fairly, equally, and efficiently to all Kosovans. The fight against corruption remains a U.S. priority. We will continue to use all available tools, including sanctions, to disrupt and dismantle links between organized crime groups and corrupt actors.
Kosovo’s early and generous assistance hosting Afghans proved once again when partners and those in need ask for help, Kosovo is ready to assist. Thank you, Kosovo, for your hospitality and your willingness to assist the most vulnerable.
While the pandemic is certainly not over and we must not relent, there is reason for hope as we look forward to 2022. This holiday season, with many of us vaccinated, more of us can spend precious time with our families and loved ones. For those of you who are not yet vaccinated, please schedule your jabs.
From our family to yours and on behalf of Americans everywhere, I wish you a joyous holiday season and Happy New Year. May 2022 be a year of peace, justice, and prosperity for all Kosovans. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!