Biden says he favors mutual recognition between Serbia and Kosovo

NEWS 20.04.2021 21:55
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Source: POOL / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

US President, Joe Biden, said on Tuesday he is in favor of the mutual recognition of Serbia and Kosovo, and that the US will continue to support efforts aimed at securing a lasting peace between them, Croatian state agency Hina reported.

“The United States will continue to support efforts to secure a lasting peace through productive dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia and ultimately a comprehensive normalization agreement which we believe should be centered on mutual recognition,” Biden said in a letter of congratulation to Kosovo’s new President, Vjosa Osmani.

“Normalization of relations with Serbia is essential for Kosovo to realize its potential and fully integrate into Euro-Atlantic institutions,” Biden said.

“I know reaching that goal will require flexibility and difficult compromises along the way, and the United States will be your partner at every step,” he added.

Speaking of Kosovo-U.S. relations, Biden said it was “a long partnership, rooted in common values.”

He said he was looking forward to working with Osmani “on shared priorities for Kosovo, including strengthening the rule of law; fighting corruption; protecting the rights of ethnic and religious minorities; rebuilding from the Covid-19 pandemic; fostering economic development; and  security a sustainable energy future.”

Biden confirmed that Osmani had written to him on 19 March about Kosovo’s need for Covid-19 vaccines.

He said his “administration has made a priority of working with bilateral and multilateral partners to mobilize a response to the pandemic” and that the U.S. “has provided an initial $4 billion contribution (…) to support the Covax program to supply safe and effective vaccines for countries in need.”

“As we increase vaccine supplies here in the United States, we are exploring options to work with partners to share what we can,” Biden said, adding that his team will be in touch with Osmani.

Kosovo media said that Osmani received congratulations on her election from French President Emmanuel Macron too and that he said France would support Kosovo “in fundamental reforms” and the continuation of dialogue in Brussels that would lead to a “comprehensive agreement.”

The Kossev website said that Biden wrote to Osmani in February as well, on the 13th anniversary of Kosovo’s declaration of independence, and to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic to congratulate him on Statehood Day.

In both letters he called for reaching a comprehensive agreement which should result in mutual recognition, Kossev said.

The Kosovo parliament confirmed Osmani as the country’s new president on 4 April.

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