Ambassador Kosnett’s Remarks at the Route 6 Road Opening, May 29, 2019
Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Prime Ministers, ladies and gentlemen – it is a great privilege to be here today on behalf of the United States of America to celebrate the Route 6 project and offer congratulations to the thousands of people of all nationalities who have labored to make it a reality. The presence of so many distinguished representatives speaks to the importance of the project not only to Kosovo, but to the entire region.
This day has been a long time in coming, and I know this project has not been without controversy. Some have suggested the project is too expensive, or that it is too advanced for Kosovo’s needs. I believe the decision to build Route 6 was both bold and correct. Throughout the world, modern infrastructure drives development and provides employment. Improved transportation links can lead not just to stronger economic ties between neighbors, but to stronger political ties, and to people to people ties that are improved as well.
Complex infrastructure projects also provide opportunities for governments, companies, and individual workers to develop their skills at planning, project management, and construction. I am confident that as Kosovo’s ministries learn from experience, they will continue to develop clearer budgeting and payment plans and identify ways to take full advantage of projects to further develop local capacity and abilities.
Ladies and gentlemen, I will close by noting that, like the earlier Bechtel-ENKA Route 7 project connecting Pristina and Prizren, Route 6 is a testament to what American and Turkish partners can achieve when we work together. Cooperation between these two great countries benefits our own peoples as well as our friends and neighbors. This cooperation between the United States and Turkey must not change.
Ladies and gentlemen, I wish you safe travels.
Rrugë të mbarë.