SOS Hillary Clinton in Kosovo
Secretary Clinton was warmly received in Kosovo and she visited the statute of former President Bill Clinton and did a bit of shopping, walking, talking and generally mingling with the locals:
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton got a rapturous welcome from large pro-American crowds in the capital of Kosovo on Wednesday as she closed out a three-nation tour of the restive, ethnically splintered Balkans.
Thousands of people, many waving U.S. flags, lined Clinton’s motorcade route from Pristina’s airport to the city center that included a long stretch on Bill Clinton Boulevard. It’s named for the man many Kosovars revere for spearheading the 1999 NATO airstrikes on Serbia aimed at ending a brutal crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists here.
In between occasional billboards with Hillary Clinton’s picture proclaiming “Welcome,” Clinton stopped her car at a square where an 11-foot gold statue of her husband stands. Amid cheers, Clinton got out and inspected the statue, smiling broadly and posing for photos while waving at a crowd of roughly 1,000 gathered there.
“It’s so great to be here,” she said, wading into the throng to shake hands before she found a tribute of her own: a small women’s clothing store called “Hillary,” where she was given a jacket as a gift.
People in the crowd sought out members of Clinton’s party, saying “Thank you America,” and shaking their hands while others carried signs expressing appreciation. “People thank you, U.S.A., family Clinton. Thank you, Hillary,” read one.
From the statue, Clinton went immediately into meetings with the leaders of Kosovo, the world’s newest nation at just two years old. After those talks, she will visit the nearby Serb-majority town of Gracanica, site of a historic Serb Orthodox monastery, to stress the importance of inclusion…