The initiative to install the statue came from the Friends of the US Association, "Shoqata Miqtë e Ameri" in Albanian, established in Pristina in 2004, whose purpose is "the preservation and promotion of permanent friendship between Kosovo and the US", as stated in its mission statement. Its president, Agim Rexhepi, in an interview, says they are looking to expand their activities to North Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro, as well as open an office in New York. "The United States of America is a symbol of Kosovo's statehood, they have contributed billions to the creation of our state and the establishment of institutions, they have invested in education, in the economy, in the creation of the FSK (Kosovo Security Forces). Many Kosovar citizens want us to be the 51st state of the United States of America," he stresses. In his office hangs on the wall two handwritten letters from Bill Clinton thanking him for his service, which Rexhepi proudly displays.
But this is not the only symbol in the country that shows this widespread sense of gratitude, nor is Bill Clinton the only beneficiary. Naming streets after US officials has become something of a tradition in Kosovo. Several schools, sports centres, streets and avenues across the country have been named after such personalities as Bill Clinton's Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, US Congressman Eliot Engel, former President George Bush, and even former prime ministers of NATO member states, with former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair being particularly beloved in the country.