AMBASSADOR MOON: Thank you, everyone, for being here this morning. I know how hard all of you have been working, especially over the last few days to ensure the Secretary’s visit here is a great success. Your efforts are very much appreciated. And I’m delighted by the spirit of cooperation and dedication the people of this mission display on a daily basis. Together, you have accomplished amazing feats and I thank you again for your daily efforts on behalf of the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo.
Today, as you know very well, we have a very special visitor to Sarajevo, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Madam Secretary, thank you very much for taking the time to meet with all of us here today. It’s an honor for you – for us to have you join us, and it’s an honor for me to introduce you to the very special people of the U.S. Embassy here in Sarajevo.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you so much, Pat. Thank you. Well, good morning, good morning. It’s wonderful to be back in Sarajevo and it’s especially an honor for me to be here as Secretary of State and to have this chance to thank all of you for your service here. I want to thank Ambassador and Mrs. Moon and Ambassador Gary Robbins, head of the OSCE mission here, and especially each and every one of you. Also, I just met General David – is it Enyeart? David Enyeart, commander of the NATO headquarters in Sarajevo. And we’ve had a great civilian-military partnership here, and I know how important it is that we continue that partnership as we work with the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina on their path toward peace, stability, progress, and unlimited future.
One cannot come to this beautiful city and not believe that the future is just waiting to be grasped by the people here. And I know that your work demands a lot of sacrifice and commitment. Many of the spouses and children have given up schools and friends and familiar surroundings, but I am very grateful because I consider what you’re doing here among the most important missions we have in the world.
And I especially want to thank our locally engaged staff – all of you who have brought your expertise and your insights; we could not do the work here to build a strong partnership between our peoples without your guidance. I also know that our locally engaged staff represent what I believe is most significant about this country’s potential. You come from different ethnic or religious backgrounds, but you are united in a common effort, and we want to see that available for every single person here.
America made a commitment to help build that future more than 15 years ago, and we stand by that commitment today. In a few hours, I will have the honor of dedicating our new embassy compound and paying tribute to the memory of three men who died in pursuit of peace. Some of you knew Robert Frasure who was our Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Balkans. He and his colleagues Joe Kruzel and Nelson Drew died together in that car accident in their pursuit of peace, and now we have to make good on their sacrifice. I will also be naming the street that runs alongside our new Embassy, the Robert Frasure Street. And in fact, his family will be with me when I do that.
I’m very excited by the progress that has been made in the last decade and a half. The country now has an integrated military. Its soldiers have served in NATO missions in Iraq and soon Afghanistan. The government is taking steps toward the integration with the European Union and NATO, and we will work with them and with you to do everything we can to see that the additional reforms necessary take place and that that leads to concrete benefits in people’s lives.
Last year, Vice President Biden was here in Sarajevo. Do you see a pattern here? We’re going to keep coming year after year, because we really want to help realize the future that so many people have given so much to achieve. The United States and the European Union have made a concerted effort to help Bosnia and Herzegovina succeed in this path you have started on, and we’re going to continue to work together to fulfill the promises made in Dayton all those years ago. So I thank you.
Now, I also know that you work hard every day, but then along comes somebody like me or Vice President Biden and it just triples the workload. So we won’t impose on you too often; we’ll give you time to recover between trips. But it is the case that we care deeply about what you’re doing and care very passionately about the future that we’re helping the people here build. So you will see more of us as we come through. I know my Deputy Jim Steinberg has been here five times, I think. So in addition to what you do every day, let me thank you, especially, for what you’ve done to make this trip successful.
It’s a real pleasure to be back in Sarajevo and to have just this chance to catch up and see what’s happening here. And I will stay in close touch with the ambassador and expect to hear positive reports about the progress that is being made. Thank you all very much.