On February 18 H. E. Mr. Edon Cana, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kosovo to the Republic of Bulgaria, and his wife, gave a reception in Sofia Hotel Balkan on the occasion of the Independence Day /2008/.

It was attended by the deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yuri Sterk, officials, ambassadors, diplomats, friends of Kosovo and representatives of the Kosovo diaspora in Bulgaria.

In his welcoming speech to the guests, on the occasion of the 11th anniversary of the country's declaration of independence on February 17, 2008, His Excellency said: "Today Kosovo enters its second decade of statehood as a confident young state whose aspiratons are clear and unequivocal: NATO and EU membership. The declaration of the independence of Kosovo has been the source of stability in the region."

Then he reminded that the people of Kosovo also celebrate the 20th anniversary of their liberation, emphasizing this historic moment in the latest story.

And as far as our bilateral relations are concerned, H. E. Mr. Edon Cana said he is happy as Ambassador in Bulgaria to celebrate together this year and the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Kosovo and Bulgaria: "In 2008 Bulgaria was one of the first regional countries to recognise the independence of Kosovo along with Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary. Kosovo established formal diplomatic relations with Bulgaria by deciding to open an Embassy in Sofia in 2009. That is why I want to highlight that our relations with Bulgaria are much older and the friendship between our people is much older. Actually, large parts of what is today Kosovo were under the King Boris of Bulgaria rule in year 852, that is more than a Millenia.

Throughout the history our people maintained good relations and today we can say that we are one of the few countries in south east Europe that have no open political questions. That is why during my tenure here as Ambassador of Kosovo I will be focused on intensifying the economic and cultural relations between our states. In fact, already this year, thanks to the support of the Ministry of culture of Bulgaria and the Municipality of Plovdiv, we will be having many cultural activities in Sofia and Plovdiv, for which we are also proud to have been chosen the cultural capital of Europe for 2019, as in a way it represents all the countries from this region.

Furthermore, the UEFA draw for Euro 2020 has in a way been a lucky draw for this anniversary between our countries because Kosovo will be playing against Bulgaria. These two games will be a great opportunity to have our great relations celebrated, and may the best win.

We would like to thank Bulgaria for its continuous help in the multilateral forums and for the Bulgarian presence in the NATO-led peacekeeping force and also in EU and other international institutions in Kosovo.

Being the first independence celebrations since I have assumed my position as an Ambasador I would like to use this opportunity to and congratulate and thank Bulgarian Governenment for tehir sincere coommintment to Western Balkans, including Kosovo, during their EU Presidency."

After the official part, the guests of the reception had the opportunity to taste some traditional dishes from Kosovo as well as the various wines of several wineries from the country.

Photos are provided by the Embassy of the Republic of Kosovo in the Republic of Bulgaria.

Above: H. E. Mr. Edon Cana, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kosovo to the Republic of Bulgaria, and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Bulgaria Mr. Yury Sterk listening to the hymns of the two countries.