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Albania. Former US President Bill Clinton met Kosovar citizens named in his honour

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Former US President Bill Clinton met with twelve Kosovar citizens named after him as a sign of gratitude for his role in ending the 1998-1999 war.

Bill Clinton has been very popular among Kosovar Albanians since NATO bombings in early 1999 forced Yugoslav forces to withdraw from Kosovo. The local population believes that he was primarily behind the decision to launch the air strikes.

Bill Clinton in Pristina. Recordings from November 1, 2009Reuters Archive

In 2009, a three-meter statue of Clinton was erected in a square in Pristina. In the city, one of the largest streets is also named after Bill Clinton Boulevard, and a 12-meter effigy of the former president decorates one of the city’s facades.

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Bill Clinton statue in PristinaReuters Archive

Clinton meeting in Tirana

On Monday during the ceremony in Tirana, the capital Albania, Clinton met the boys and men of Kosovo named in his honor. – My name is Bill Clinton Krasniq. I come from Mitrovica, Kosovo. I am proud to bear your name. I am Bill Clinton from Kosovo. Thank you because you are the Bill Clinton of the world,” said one teenager.

The Kosovar Clintons were also joined on stage by several girls named Hilary, named after the ex-president’s wife. – Hi! I am neither Bill nor Clinton, I am Hillary Alidema and I come from Vitia, Kosovo. Thank you, Bill, said the girl.

>> Clinton in 2012: Kosovo’s independence undisputed. “It’s a personal thing for me”

Bill Clinton and some citizens of Kosovo who spoke on stage in TiranaReuters

During the ceremony, Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama honored Clinton with one of the highest state decorations for his contribution to building peace and stability in the Balkans. Ex-president USA called from the stage for an end to tensions in northern Kosovo.

READ MORE: Clashes between Serbian demonstrators and NATO peacekeeping forces. Many soldiers wounded

KosovoPAP/Adam Ziemienowicz

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