‘She became our voice’: Albright welcomed by world leaders

WASHINGTON (AP) — As she pressures the Clinton administration to act against Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic over war crimes in the Balkans, Madeleine Albright will return to her childhood as a refugee from war-torn Europe.

World leaders recalled how Albright’s personal history helped inspire her professional passion as they praised America’s first female Secretary of State since her death at the age of 84 on Wednesday.

“He gave us hope when we didn’t have it,” Kosovo’s President Vojosa Osmani said. “She became our voice and our arm when we had neither a voice nor an arm. She felt the pain of our people because she herself experienced persecution as a child, so she went to Kosovo to stop their genocide. against Milosevic.

Albright, Osmani said, “supported Kosovo to his last breath and therefore the people of Kosovo will remember him forever.”

“Few world leaders have done as much for our country as Madeleine Albright,” said Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala of Albright, who was born in Prague and was born in 1989 under the leadership of his friend Václav Havel. After the Velvet Revolution, he repeatedly visited his homeland. , an anti-communist dissident who became the country’s president.

Fiala said that Albright “got a chance at the free world, made the best of it. Thank you. We’ll never forget you.”

Bill Clinton, who in 1996 appointed Albright as America’s top diplomat as president, recalled his last visit with him nearly three years earlier. This was perhaps fitting for Kosovo, where a statue was erected in his honor in Pristina as the country celebrated the 20th anniversary of its fight for independence.

“Since she knew firsthand that America’s policy decisions had the power to change the lives of people around the world, she saw her job as both an obligation and an opportunity,” Clinton said.

Most recently, he said, he supported Ukraine and its independence in the midst of Russia’s ongoing war against the country.

President Joe Biden recalled Wednesday that “working with Secretary Albright during the 1990s was one of the highlights of my career in the United States Senate during my tenure on the Committee on Foreign Relations. As the world saw itself in the wake of the Cold War.” Redefined, we were partners and friends working to welcome new free democracies to NATO and confront the horrors of genocide in the Balkans.

He said that when he thinks of Albright, “I will always remember his fervent belief that ‘America is the indispensable nation’.”

On the General Assembly podium, the US envoy to the United Nations hailed Albright – a friend for decades, a former boss and an aide at Georgetown University – as a “trailblazer and a publisher”.

“She left an indelible mark on the world and the United Nations,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the assembly, which was meeting to discuss the war in Ukraine and the ensuing humanitarian crisis. “Our country and our United Nations are strong enough to serve him.”

Haris Silajczyk, a key key figure in the Bosnian government during the country’s brutal interracial war in the 1990s, which also included the foreign minister and prime minister, said that Albright “understood exactly what happened (in Bosnia) and that justice was done.” was the most frequent champion”. Balkan country.

In Bosnia, Albright is well remembered as the US ambassador to the United Nations who, in the summer of 1995, presented to the UN Security Council the first evidence of mass atrocities committed in the eastern city of Srebrenica in the country’s brutal months Was. 1992-95 war.

Over 8,000 Bosnian Muslims died during the 10-day slaughter after the city was captured by Bosnian Serb forces in July 1995. Their bodies were hastily dumped in mass graves and then later excavated with bulldozers and scattered among other burial sites to hide evidence. crime.

The remains of the victims are still being traced and identified.

Of Albright, Silajczyk said, “Because of her own experience, she was a true champion of justice; she could not stomach injustice,” as in, “she understood that (Bosnia) faced injustice.” and was looking for ways to correct that.”

Top Democrats in Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi lauded the historical nature of Albright’s leadership. CIA director William Burns called Albright, who, as a Clinton administration hawk, urged the president to militarily engage in the conflict in Kosovo, “direct and clear in the face of injustice both at home and abroad. His disposition.” And innocence will be greatly missed.”

Republican tributes also poured in from former President George W. Bush, who said that Albright had “distinguished service as a foreign-born secretary of state who first understood the importance of free societies to peace in our world.” ,” and GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, who said no one needed to share each of his policy views “to appreciate his dedicated leadership on behalf of our nation.”

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