MODERATOR: Good morning, and thank you for joining us today. As a depositary for the Bretton Woods Accords, the United States is pleased to host this ceremony for the Republic of Kosovo’s signature and acceptance of the Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Before we begin, I would like to introduce Deputy Secretary James Steinberg, who will be accepting Kosovo’s instruments of acceptance of the agreements. I would also like to introduce President Fatmir Sejdiu and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, who will be signing the agreements for Kosovo.
At this time, I would like to invite President Sejdiu and Prime Minister Thaci to sit at the Treaty Table and sign the International Monetary Fund and World Bank agreements. The president and prime minister are now signing the International Monetary Fund agreement.
(The International Monetary Fund agreement was signed.)
MODERATOR: The president and prime minister are now signing the World Bank agreement.
(The World Bank agreement was signed.)
DEPUTY SECRETARY STEINBERG: Well, thank you all very much. Thank you, Mr. President and Mr. Prime Minister. On behalf of Secretary Clinton, I’m just delighted to be here at this really momentous occasion to congratulate you and the people of Kosovo for this magnificent achievement. It’s one of the nice privileges that goes with being the Deputy Secretary of State here in the United States and our role in the IMF and the World Bank to be able to serve as the depositary for the IMF and the World Bank and to have the honor of accepting these agreements.
And this is a – it’s a very memorable occasion, indeed. The documents that you’ve just signed are documents to two of the most important international institutions that we have. The World Bank and the IMF reflect the cooperation of the broader international community to address the economic challenges that we all face, and they will be important partners for you, as you continue the journey that you’ve embarked on over the last decade to build a stronger and more capable Kosovo for all of your people, and they will be important partners for you. And it really represents your growing integration into the international community, which is something that we all welcome and are delighted to see happen.
This is really a sign of your being a contributor and a participant in some of the most important work that the international community does. This will help you develop a sound budget and sustainable fiscal policies and to work with you. And we stand ready to support your efforts, and have pledged $150 million to help Kosovo reduce its debt. So you have an opportunity here to use the bank and the fund to help build a strong economic climate for investment in your country, to build transparent rule-of-law institutions that will attract investment and create jobs. And this is something that the United States is very deeply committed to.
The Vice President was honored to be able to visit you recently. And the Secretary and I are committed on behalf of the State Department to continue those efforts as well. So congratulations to you for this fine achievement, and we look forward to our cooperation both in the IMF and the Bank and bilaterally in the days and months ahead. Thank you. (Applause.)
PRESIDENT SEJDIU: (Via interpreter) Honorable Deputy Secretary Steinberg, representatives of the State Department, the IMF and the World Bank, dear guests, allow me that in the name of the Kosovo institutions to express my gratitude for this occasion. We are here with Prime Minister Thaci to be part of – to take part in the signing ceremony of these two important international institutions to show that Kosovo will be a very good partner, will be disciplined and will take part in the international monetary system. All our developments and progress we have made so far have shown – are an indication to this.
I extend my gratitude and my thanks to the United States and to all the member countries that have expressed their support for Kosovo. This gives a good evaluation to all the positive progress that we have made, and, at the same time, it is an indicator to our responsibilities. Together, we’ll move forward so that Kosovo progresses very rapidly, to make use of these resources of all its (inaudible) conditions, everything, so that it progresses.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)
PRIME MINISTER THACI: (Via interpreter) Honorable Mr. Steinberg, Honorable representatives of the World Bank and the Monetary Fund, now the – now Kosovo has built its own institutions which are transparent and efficient. We have the rule of law and we have the perspective of implementing the democratic institutions. This is the new history of Kosovo, and we have worked for this together very much. Kosovo’s membership in IMF and the World Bank has not only economic repercussions, but also political. It strengthens the sovereignty of our country, opens up prospects for the economic development of the country, and creates the work for an independent Kosovo. But at the same time, we have new responsibilities. We will also have some possibilities to have credits of (inaudible) – I mean (in Albanian)?
PRIME MINISTER THACI: (In Albanian.)
INTERPRETER: -- was – yes. (Laughter.)
PRIME MINISTER THACI: (Via interpreter) We pledge that we will work hard, and we’ll have the support of the United States, other countries, the IMF, and the World Bank. Thank you very much. (Applause.)