The European Union Office in Kosovo marked the 20th anniversary since the beginning of NATO’s air raids in the former Yugoslavia, saying that March 24, 1999, was a crucial date for Kosovo and the Western Balkans.
“The Western Balkans region shares a joint aspiration, today, of joining the EU with its own mission of peace and reconciliation. We respect and support the region’s wish to play a constructive role in the stability, security and prosperity of our continent,” the EU Office in Kosovo said in their statement.
Kosovo’s President Hashim Thaci wrote that the “Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) on the ground and NATO in the air, forced (Serbia’s former President Slobodan) Milosevic and his regime to capitulate.”
According to him, NATO’s intervention stopped the ethnic cleansing.
Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj said, while paying respects to the killed KFOR soldiers who died in Kosovo, that “Kosovo people’s tragedy had ended 20 years ago” and that they “gained freedom and peace.”
Kosovo’s Assembly Speaker Kadri Veseli said that NATO’s airstrikes had stopped the genocidal terror in Kosovo.
“We’re proud that the Kosovo army continues the Alliance with NATO which the KLA started,” Veseli wrote.