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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 23, 1999


Sports Pavilion
Ferizaj (Urosevac) Area, Kosovo

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Hello, Ferizaj, and thank you, Luljeta. (Applause.) As America's Secretary of State, and as your friend, I thank you all for that wonderful, warm welcome. (Applause.)

When I look at all the children here, I see Kosovo's future, and I believe that the children of Ferizaj survived Milosevic's murderous assault on Kosovo not just to come home and learn, although that is very important, but also to teach an important lesson to us all. (Applause.) Kosovo's children have much to show the world about courage in the face of persecution, and in the aftermath of tragedy. You have a lesson for us about determination in the way you have struggled to maintain the language, the culture and the homes that have been yours for centuries. (Applause.)

I hope, as well, that Kosovo's children will teach the world a lesson about tolerance -- that you will not wish upon others the suffering that you have endured; that you will not grow up to repeat the cycle of vengeance and sorrow. Instead, I hope -- and I believe -- that you will grow up knowing that peace cannot grow from violence and democracy cannot be built on revenge. (Applause.)

In that endeavor, I pledge that you will have the fullest support of the international community and the United States of America. (Applause.) And I pledge that you will grow up with America at your side as you seek to build a better Kosovo, a place where your own children and those of your neighbors will grow up and grow old in peace. (Applause.)

Your faces were with me all through the war. Your faces will remain with me all through the peace. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

STUDENT: Thank you, Madam Secretary. And thank you, President Clinton. My name is Ramadan Ilazi, and I am a student of the 8th grade in elementary school Ganimet Terbeshi. Mr. President, thank you very much for coming to Ferizaj and for having the opportunity to visit with us. (Applause.)

You promised that you will bring us to our homes safe. You kept your promise. (Applause.) We will never forget that you brought us home. (Applause.) You are a great friend of our people and we love you very much. (Applause.)





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