WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States launched a $215.5 million project to build a new Embassy in Kosovo, the State Department announced in a statement on Tuesday.
“As an important symbol of the enduring friendship with the Republic of Kosovo, US Ambassador to Kosovo Tracey Ann Jacobson broke ground on the new US Embassy in Pristina today,” the release said.
The new Embassy will be situated on a 12-acre site in the centre of Kosovo’s capital Pristina and will include a chancery, a US Marine Corps residence as well as additional facilities to service the Embassy community.
“Most of the workers that will be involved in the construction of the new Embassy will be from the local region,” the statement added.
The first facility the United States opened in Kosovo was a US Information Office in the late 1990’s.
“We have come a long way since then. For 16 years, our team has worked hard in makeshift facilities to support Kosovo and its democratic development and its economic growth,” Jacobson said in addressing the guests at groundbreaking ceremony for the new Embassy.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and is recognized by 108 UN member states. Serbia considers Kosovo to be part of its territory.
In 1999, the United States led a 78-day NATO military campaign called Operation Allied Force against Serbia and Montenegro over alleged human rights abuses in Kosovo, which eventually set the stage for Kosovo’s independence.
Russia, among several dozen countries, does not recognize Kosovo as an independent state.