Press Statement
Gordon Duguid
Acting Deputy Department Spokesman, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 17, 2009


The United States congratulates the people of the Republic of Kosovo as they celebrate the first anniversary of Kosovo’s historic Declaration of Independence. One year ago today Kosovo became a sovereign and independent state.

Over the past year, Kosovo has moved quickly to build democratic institutions and to implement the principles of UN Special Envoy and Nobel Laureate Martti Ahtisaari’s Plan, including strong constitutional protections for minority rights and religious and cultural heritage. Fifty-four countries from every continent have recognized Kosovo, including an overwhelming majority of EU, NATO and OSCE members. As an independent state, Kosovo has welcomed and is coordinating effectively with the EU-led EULEX rule of law mission, NATO, the EU-led International Civilian Office and other representatives of the international community, to build a sound and sustainable economy, a single and transparent rule of law system, and other institutions of a modern, multi-ethnic, European democracy.

The United States commends the efforts of the people and Government of Kosovo to promote stability in the region and work cooperatively across ethnic and religious lines to develop a secure and prosperous future. The Secretary of State looks forward to welcoming the President and Prime Minister of Kosovo to the State Department on February 26 to reaffirm our pledge of friendship and support for Kosovo.



PRN: 133