A Statue of Bill Clinton is unveiled in Pristina, Kosovo
PRISTINA, Nov. 1, 2009 (Reuters) — Kosovo’s Albanian majority unveiled a statue of former U.S. president Bill Clinton on Sunday to thank him for saving them by stopping a wave of ethnic cleansing by Serbia.
As the U.S. President in 1999, Clinton launched NATO air strikes to halt the killing of ethnic Albanians by Serbian troops.
Clinton’s speech was interrupted several times by Kosovo Albanians wildly cheering his name and U.S.A., and waving U.S., Albanian and Kosovo flags.
“I am profoundly grateful that I had a chance to be a part of ending the horrible things that were happening to you 10 years ago giving you a chance to build a better future for yourself,” Clinton told the crowd.
I am profoundly grateful that I had a chance to be a part of ending the horrible things that were happening to you 10 years ago giving you a chance to build a better future for yourself”— Bill Clinton
PRISTINA, Kosovo — Thousands of ethnic Albanians braved low temperatures and a cold wind in Kosovo's capital Pristina to welcome former President Bill Clinton on Sunday as he attended the unveiling of an 11-foot (3.5-meter) statue of himself on a key boulevard that also bears his name.
Clinton is celebrated as a hero by Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority for launching NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia in 1999 that stopped the brutal Serb forces' crackdown on independence-seeking ethnic Albanians.
This is his first visit to Kosovo since it declared independence from Serbia last year.
Many waved American, Albanian and Kosovo flags and chanted "USA!" as the former president climbed on top of a podium with his poster in the background reading "Kosovo honors a hero."
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