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Fort Dodge has a new sister city

City Council approves agreement with Gjakova in Kosovo

In a world populated with many nations, cultures and ethnic populations, the planet’s rich diversity of human inhabitants sometimes leads to misunderstandings that could have been avoided. All too often the result is conflicts that need not take place. One of the best ways to reduce the incidence of such tragedies is to improve the communication between peoples.

With that in mind, the Fort Dodge City Council recently approved the establishment of a sister-city agreement between our town and Gjakova in Kosovo. The arrangement commits the two communities to cooperate on cultural, economic and academic matters. Additionally, they will work together on city development issues.

The sister-city partnership evolved from a relationship between the Iowa National Guard and the security forces of Kosovo. Iowa troops were sent there in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008 to keep the peace as Kosovo separated from Serbia to become an independent nation. Maj. Gen. Timothy Orr, the adjutant general of the Iowa National Guard, sought to expand the relationship beyond the military. In 2013, Kosovo and Iowa became sister states.

The Messenger applauds this exciting development. We believe the exceptional learning experience that will evolve from this collaboration in the years ahead will greatly benefit both communities.