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It is a pleasure for me to be with you today at the annual meeting of the International Office of Epizootics. I would first like to congratulate the recipients of your gold and silver awards, which I am sure are well-deserved. I also want to state how much the United States has appreciated the efforts of Director-General Blajan. Although we have only been a member of OlE since 1978, we have developed great respect for this organization. OlE is held in high regard throughout the world, and the firm and competent leadership of Dr. Blajan has been a major reason for this. We regret that Dr. Blajan has chosen to retire from OlE, but we wish him every success in his future endeavors.