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"She became our voice": Albright is praised by world leaders

Madeleine Albright, as she pressured the Clinton administration to take action against Slobodan Milosevic, Serbian President for war crimes in Balkans.

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"She became our voice": Albright is praised by world leaders

As world leaders remembered Albright's personal story, they paid tribute to America's first female secretary-of-state. She died Wednesday at the age of 84.

Vjosa Olmani, President of Kosovo, said that "She gave us hope where we didn't have it." She was our voice and arm, when we didn't have an arm or voice. Because she was a victim of persecution as a child, she felt the pain of our people. She was determined to stop Milosevic's genocide in Kosovo.

Osmani said that Albright "supported Kosovo until the end and that is why Kosovo's people will remember her forever."

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala stated that Madeleine Albright was one of few world leaders who did so much to help our country. Albright was born in Prague, and visited her homeland several times after the 1989 Velvet Revolution, which was led by Vaclav Havel, an anticommunist dissident, who became the country’s president.

Fiala stated that Albright had "got a chance in free world, and made the most of it." We are grateful. We will never forget you."

Bill Clinton, the president who nominated Albright in 1996 as America's top diplomat was able to recall his last trip with her almost three years ago. Perhaps fittingly, it was to Kosovo where Albright was honored with a statue in Pristina. This was in commemoration of the country's 20th anniversary.

Clinton stated that Clinton saw her job as both an obligation to and an opportunity because she had seen firsthand how America's policies could make a difference in peoples' lives all over the globe.

He said that she had supported Ukraine's independence in the midst of Russia's ongoing war on the country.

Wednesday's President Joe Biden recalls that working with Secretary Albright in the 1990s was one of the highlights of his career as a Senator for the United States during my time on the Foreign Relations Committee. We were friends and partners in helping to accept newly liberated democracies into NATO, and to confront the horrors inflicted by genocide in Balkans as the world reshaped itself after the Cold War.

He stated that Albright's fervent belief that "America is the indispensable country" will be something he remembers when he thinks about her.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Albright, a friend for many decades and a Georgetown University colleague, was honored on the floor by the General Assembly as a "trailblazer" and "a luminary."

Linda Thomas-Greenfield stated that "She left an irreplaceable mark on the world" and added that she was proud to address the assembly about the conflict in Ukraine and the subsequent humanitarian crisis. Her service made our country and the United Nations stronger.

At the beginning of Wednesday's meeting, the U.N. Security Council paid tributes to Albright, who was the U.S. Ambassador to the World Body from 1993-1997. They also stood for a moment in silence in her honor.

Lana Nusseibeh is the current president of the council and was the first woman from the United Arab Emirates appointed as U.N. Ambassador. She said that "Many women ambassadors have owed Secretary Albright an immense debt of gratitude."

Antonio Guterres, U.N. Secretary General, described Albright as "a trailblazer and role model and a champion for multilateral action" and international cooperation.

Haris Silajdzic was a key figure within the Bosnian government during its brutal interethnic conflict in the 1990s. He served as the foreign minister and the prime minister.

Albright is well-remembered in Bosnia as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. He presented to the U.N. Security Council in 1995 the first evidence of mass atrocities in Srebrenica during the final months of the 1992-95 brutal war.

After the massacre of their town by Bosnian Serb troops in July 1995, more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslims were killed during 10 days. To hide evidence of the crime, their bodies were dumped into mass graves that had been made in a hurry. Later, the bulldozers excavated the remains and scattered them among other burial locations.

It is still not known what remains of the victims have been found.

Silajdzic described Albright as a champion for justice because of her own experiences. She said that Albright also understood the injustices in Bosnia and was seeking ways to rectify them.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer were the top Democrats in Congress. They praised Albright's historic leadership. William Burns, CIA Director, praised Albright as a Clinton Administration hawk who urged President Clinton to get militarily involved in Kosovo's conflict. He also praised Albright for being "direct and forthright" in the face injustices at home and abroad. Her flawlessness and flair will be greatly missed."

The Republican tributes included former President George W. Bush who stated Albright had "served distinguishedly as a foreign born foreign minister who understood firsthand how important it is for peace in our planet." Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also said Albright was a "dedicated leader on behalf of our country" and that one did not need to agree with each of her policy views.


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