Ambassador Kosnett’s Remarks at the Dedication of the New U.S. Embassy

Ambassador Kosnett’s Remarks at the Dedication of the New U.S. Embassy, July 4, 2019

Ladies and gentlemen, Alison and I thank all of you for joining us to mark the long-awaited dedication of our New Embassy. We are all eager to hear from our guests, so I will be brief.

President Thaci, Speaker Veseli, Prime Minister Haradinaj, Mayor Ahmeti, honored guests…

The presence here of so many esteemed Kosovo officials is a reflection of our close partnership and the vibrancy of Kosovo’s democracy. And we would not be standing on this site without the support of our hosts at both the national and municipal level.

It is a special honor to welcome House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel and Mrs. Patricia Engel. Nobody has done more to establish the close partnership between the United States and Kosovo, including through support of this Embassy.

And I’m delighted that Director Tad Davis of the State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Building Operations has made the trip to represent Secretary Pompeo, and to help us open the environmentally advanced, efficient, and beautiful Embassy that his Bureau has designed and constructed.

Now, when I say the State Department built this Embassy, that’s only part of the story. With us this evening are some of the private sector construction workers, engineers, managers and students – from both the U.S. and Kosovo – whose tireless efforts made the dream into reality. They deserve a round of applause as well.

We are still putting the finishing touches on the interior of the Embassy, so it will be early this autumn before we open for business. Then it will become a world-class workplace for American and local employees from the many U.S. agencies in Pristina – operating under one roof for the first time.

But an Embassy is more than just an office building, and it isn’t only the people working here who will benefit. Our expanded Consular Section will protect and serve American residents and travelers, and facilitate travel to the States for Kosovo business people, students, and visitors. And we will have the space and facilities to make the Embassy a gathering spot where statesmen, scholars, artists, and entrepreneurs from all of Kosovo’s communities can come together.

And finally – this New Embassy is a physical manifestation of America’s commitment to an enduring partnership with the Republic of Kosovo. As you continue on your journey to bring peace, justice, and prosperity to all the people of this nation, the United States will be at your side every step of the way.