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Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Remarks During Visit to U.S. Embassy Branch Office and Award Presentation to Two FSNs
Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina, March 9, 2000
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
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SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Thank you very much Ambassador Miller. It's a real pleasure for me to be up here with all of you and to have Ambassador Miller as a partner because he is so energetic and dedicated. He and I have had such good conversations in the last couple of days about all of the developments here. Let me say that the work that is being done in Banja Luka is so important and I know that you've gone through some pretty hard times and have come through them and I just have to tell you how grateful I am. I feel especially connected to this Branch Office because it was important to get it open and I'm glad we did and so I thank you very, very much for all your hard work here. The future of this region I think really depends on getting the Republika Srpska right. There are some good people. We have to support them. There are some that are not so good that we have to figure out how to sideline. So I think that what you are doing is essential and I know it's not easy. And I'm very, very grateful to you.

(Award Presentation)

Let me read what you great people have done. Sanja Karamehmedovic is a media specialist. She joined the American Embassy in February 1995. Sanja knows the media situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as anyone. And I've been told that she's the first person the Embassy turns to whenever there are questions about or from the media. We know how difficult that is. Sanja has received a number of awards over the past five years and in 1999, was runner-up for FSN of the year. So congratulations and thank you for all your work.

(applause)

Then we have Elvir Delalic. He is a local investigator and has been with us the longest having officially joined the Embassy in April 1994. At that time the Embassy consisted of a few rooms in the Holiday Inn. And he has received a number of awards including a commendation for escorting U.S. officials over Mt. Igman during the war. He's reputed to be the Embassy's best fisherman. (laughter) We're very grateful to you for everything you've done.

(applause)

[End of Document]
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