Mr. Speaker, it is my honour today to welcome to Canada the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi.
This week, accompanied by members from the House, the president laid flowers at Canada's Peacekeeping Monument to thank Canada for our contributions to bringing peace to Kosovo during and after the brutal conflict there, and for accepting thousands of refugees from Kosovo 18 years ago. Those former asylum seekers are now leaders in Canada in business, culture, sport, and so many areas.
I had the privilege of living and working in Kosovo 10 years ago as an adviser to its Parliament, and it is impressive to see how far Kosovo has come in developing pluralistic, multi-ethnic, inclusive democratic institutions, including strong gender representation and a modern, professional public service. It is a country with a young; educated population; natural resources; and a progressive, outward-looking attitude.
I look forward to this visit deepening the ties of friendship between our two countries.