Kosovo:US President Obama sends independence congratulations

Ahead of 5th anniversary on Feb. 17

14 February, 17:46

(ANSAmed) - PRISTINA, FEBRUARY 14 - US President Barack Obama has sent Kosovo a message of congratulations on progress made in terms of democracy, reform, and dialogue with Serbia ahead of its fifth independence anniversary on February 17.

''The year we left behind was an especially important one for Kosovo. Your country has made historic strides, with the end of international supervision of your independence, and by becoming a member of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)'', Obama wrote in his message to Kosovar President Atifete Jahjaga.

''Although work still remains to be done, Kosovo has moved forward in consolidating democratic institutions, reinforcing the rule of law and developing a a tolerant, inclusive, and multi-ethnic state,'' Obama wrote. ''Progress in the dialogue with Serbia has advanced the normalization of relations, which will benefit all the citizens of Kosovo, your neighbors and the entire region,'' Obama stated.

''The United States are proud to have been and to remain Kosovo's friends and partners.'' Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed its independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008. It has so far been recognized by 92 out of the 193 UN member countries including Italy, the US, and 22 out of 27 EU member states. Backed by China and Russia, Serbia still refuses to recognize Pristina's independence, and considers Kosovo to be one of its southern provinces. (ANSAmed).

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