Pristina, Kosovo, Saturday 31 July 1999


I am so proud to be here in Pristina in Kosovo and I am so proud to see you here back in your homeland where you belong. We know and we can see the evidence all around us of the terrible events of the past few months and the conflict here but now I believe that we can see the chance for hope and confidence and prosperity for the future.

We fought in this conflict for a cause and that cause was justice. We fought for an end to ethnic cleansing, we fought for peace and security for all people in Kosovo and your courage inspired us. We know that justice must apply to all people whatever their race, whatever their religion, whatever their class, whatever their background. We want all people here in Kosovo, whether Albanians, whether Serbs, whatever their background, to live in peace and security and friendship one with another and then we want to offer a future for the whole of Kosovo that is a future with the family of nations in Europe, with the security and prosperity that comes from being part of Europe.

Over half a century ago, Britain was at war with Germany, the whole of Europe was in state of turmoil; today Britain, Germany, France, Italy, all the countries of the European Union, work together in partnership and friendship and peace and that is the future here in the Balkans also if we make it the future.

Today, as I have been here, I have felt so moved and so touched by the warmth and friendship that you have shown me. What has given me pleasure more than anything else is to see the young children here today living again in their homeland in peace. This hope we have for the future, this belief in a different future for Kosovo and for this part of the world, this hope lies in the hands of these children, they are the future of Kosovo.

My friends, people of Kosovo, I thank you for welcoming me here today, it has been my proud honour and privilege to be here with you. I look forward to the day when I come here again when Pristina is rebuilt, when Kosovo is rebuilt and when all people here live in justice, partnership and friendship for the future. Thank you.