The United States will help Kosovo join the European Union and NATO, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said following talks with Kosovan Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in Washington.
“I believe strongly in Kosovo’s independence and territorial integrity and in its aspiration to become a full partner in the international community and a member of the European Union, and eventually, NATO,” Clinton said.
“The United States will continue to support Kosovo and work with the European Union to resolve the outstanding issues that exist between Kosovo and Serbia,” she added.
Thaci’s visit to the United States comes amid increased tensions between Pristina and Belagrade over Serbia’s intention to hold municipal elections in the breakaway region on May 6.
Clinton said she was “encouraged” with Kosovo’s progress in European integration and economic development.
“The prime minister told me Kosovo has grown five percent this year. That’s a very strong signal of the kind of progress that Kosovo is making, and we want to help fully integrate, particularly the young people of Kosovo, into Europe and the international community,” she said.
About 90 states, including the United States and most of the EU countries, have recognized Kosovo since it declared its independence from Serbia in 2008. Belgrade and Moscow have refused to recognize Kosovo's sovereignty.