Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
Assistance for Southeast Europe
I am pleased that yesterday in Brussels the international community pledged over $1 billion in new assistance to consolidate peace and promote economic recovery in Kosovo. I am particularly pleased that our European partners committed the lion's share of this amount, with the European Commission and EU members together pledging over three-quarters of a billion dollars and additional pledges from other European states.
These contributions will not only provide a significant boost to economic revitalization and reconstruction, but also help to fund public administration, establish a civil emergency service corps, strengthen public security and the rule of law, promote market reforms, and encourage private investment. We did our part by announcing plans to provide $157 million for Kosovo, pending final action on the budget before Congress.
Today at the OSCE Summit in Istanbul, Europe demonstrated its strong leadership in support of recovery and stabilization throughout Southeast Europe. I welcome European Commission President Prodi's intention to have the EC provide nearly 12 billion Euros (approximately $12.5 billion) of assistance to the region during 2000-2006. Such a substantial package will create tremendous opportunities for those countries and affirm in the strongest terms European support for their transformation. We are continuing our assistance programs to encourage political and economic reform and advance the region's integration with the rest of Europe.
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