Fort Dodge inks agreement with Gjakova, Kosovo, that participants hope will lead to opportunity on both sides of the Atlantic
14 Dec 2016
With the stroke of two pens, one held by Fort Dodge Mayor Matt Bemrich, the other by Gjakova Mayor Mimoza Kusari-Lila, the two towns, separated by thousands of miles, officially became sister cities Tuesday morning during a luncheon at the Willow Ridge Restaurant.
“This is a very special day in Fort Dodge as we meet new friends,” Bemrich said.
He expects the agreement will give both the people of Kosovo and Gjakova new opportunities but also the people of Fort Dodge and greater Iowa. He said the willpower to make the arrangement a success is there.
“We may be signing pieces of paper,” Bemrich said. “But we’re really making a commitment. It’s this relationship that will guide us.”
Bemrich said the sister city arrangement benefits both Gjakova and Fort Dodge.
“As a community,” he said, “when we look outside ourselves, we need to look outside our normal borders, to be successful, we have to embrace the idea of multiculturalism.”
Kusari-Lila is committed to the exchange.
“We’ll do our utmost,” she said. “Many people benefit from the agreement. We are really serious about it.”