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The Consulate of The Republic of Kosovo Opens In Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.

January 29, 2016

Leaders from The Republic of Kosovo and the State of Iowa celebrated the opening of the first diplomatic office located in Iowa: The Consulate of the Republic of Kosovo.

The announcement of the opening was made this morning at a press conference held at the Greater Des Moines Partnership Conference Center in Downtown Des Moines, Iowa. The Consulate is located in the Court Avenue Business Suites in the Saddlery Building in Downtown Des Moines.

“We chose Des Moines, Iowa because of our robust ties to the state and the ease of conducting business here,” said Hashim Thaçi, Deputy Prime Minister of The Republic of Kosovo. “We have been received in Iowa with the utmost hospitality and we see great opportunity here. As a flourishing democracy, our focus will be on strengthening our political and business relationships between Kosovo and the U.S.”

“It is our great pleasure to welcome The Consulate of the Republic of Kosovo to Iowa,” said Iowa Governor Terry Branstad. “This is our state’s first foreign consulate, and its physical location is a symbolic representation of both our strong military and civilian ties and the rich history that we share together. I am grateful to Maj. Gen. Tim Orr, Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, who envisioned a ‘Whole of Iowa to the Whole of Kosovo’ approach, and who helped facilitate this important partnership.  

“Today is a significant event in our region’s history,” said Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “Greater Des Moines is a player in the global community, and the opening of The Consulate of the Republic of Kosovo highlights the continuing importance of Central Iowa in our nation and in our world. We believe this opens the door for other nations with an agriculture-based economy to consider Des Moines for a consulate.”

The Iowa/Kosovo relationship began in 2011 when the Iowa National Guard was partnered with the Kosovo Security Force via the National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program. In 2013, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and Kosovo’s President Atifete Jahjaga signed a sister state agreement joining the State of Iowa and the Republic of Kosovo. It is expected that the Consulate will further expand Iowa/Kosovo relationships and offer the opportunity for more in depth partnerships and opportunities.         

Media inquiries should be directed to Sophia S. Ahmad at (515) 286-4919 or sahmad@DSMpartnership.com.                  

About Iowa Sister States

Iowa Sister States (ISS) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1985 to manage Iowa’s official relationship with foreign states, as established by the Governor of Iowa. There are 9 of these, including: Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan (1960), Yucatan, Mexico (1965), Hebei Province, China (1983), Terengganu, Malaysia (1987), Stavropol Krai, Russia (1988), Taiwan (1989), Cherkasy Oblast, Ukraine (1996), Veneto Region, Italy (1997), and Kosovo (2013). ISS is a volunteer organization dedicated to connecting Iowans with the world community. To learn more about ISS, visit iowasisterstates.org.

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,100 Regional Business Members and more than 330 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.