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Ambassador Ismaili awarded Distinguished Service Medal by Iowa National Guard

Johnston, Iowa, May 2015 - Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo in the United States of America, Akan Ismaili, was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by the Iowa National Guard at a special military ceremony, which was held at Camp Dodge in the city of Johnston.

"Ambassador Ismaili is awarded for exceptionally meritorious service in the State of Iowa and the National Guard during his term as the ambassador of Kosovo in the United States of America. Ambassador Ismaili’s personal commitment and devotion enhanced the General’s and Iowa’s vision for the entire Kosovo which resulted in the formal establishment of twinning relationship between the State of Iowa and Kosovo and the cities of Peja and Johnston. Ambassador Ismaili’s strong leadership, enthusiasm, business insight and professionalism ensure the success of the Iowa-Kosovo Partnership Program for years to come,” was written in the medal citation, signed by Iowa National Guard Major General Timothy Orr.
 
Several other Iowa National Guard officers were awarded for their distinguished service while the Governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad, and the chief of the US National Guard Bureau, General Frank J. Grass, were present at the ceremony.
 
During his two-day official visit to Iowa and participation at the ceremony, Ambassador Ismaili, accompanied by Minister-Counselor Sami Kastrati and the Kosovo Security Force Attaché, Brigadier General Xhavit Gashi, held a series of meetings with senior officials of Iowa.

They were first received at the Iowa Office of Sister States, where, together with the director of the Office, Kim Heidemann, and three Kosovar high school students in Iowa, were welcomed by Senator Rita Hart and Governor Terry Branstad.
 
It is important to note that at the meeting with Governor Branstad parties reconfirmed Iowa’s continuous support to Kosovo and deepening of the partnership between Kosovo and Iowa. Governor Branstad is likely to visit Kosovo next year.