U.S. Kosovo Policy
Deputy Assistant Secretary Philip Reeker’s statement to the press following his meeting with Prime Minister Thaci
September 10, 2012.
Thank you very much Prime Minister Thaci. Ladies and gentlemen, it is a distinct honor for me to be back in Pristina. I am delighted to be here today to represent Secretary Clinton and of course President Obama, and to be joined by Ambassador Jacobson as we take this opportunity to wish all the people of Kosovo congratulations [said in Albanian and Serbian] on the end of supervised independence, which is indeed an affirmation of Kosovo’s accomplishments and progress, and a vote of faith in its future as an independent, multi-ethnic, inclusive and unitary democracy. And as you know, the United States supports Kosovo’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity on its path towards full Euro-Atlantic integration. So I look forward to the events today, I will be traveling from Kosovo to Brussels to meet with our European colleagues to continue the important dialogue we have there, about Kosovo, [but also] about the whole Western Balkan region.
End of Supervised Independence may mark the end of executive authorities that are reserved for the international community under the Ahtisaari Plan. But this does not end the strong international engagement and assistance including that of the United States. International focus on Kosovo will only grow from today, and as Kosovo works in this post-ESI period to build a stronger state, it will have to focus on accomplishing many hard but necessary reforms. It is a challenge I know that you are set to undertake, it is a new chapter full of new opportunities, new possibilities. The U.S. is a proud partner of Kosovo as Kosovo takes these first steps in the coming days and coming months as a fully independent state. And we look forward to continuing our support of Kosovo, and developing its economy, helping to attract investment in the private sector, bolstering the rule of law, honoring your greatest strength: your diverse peoples. Building the foundations of a strong democratic society and advancing towards your European future.
We believe that both Serbia and Kosovo have futures that are in European integration, and each country stands to gain a great deal by normalizing their relations. As the Prime Minister said to that end, we and our European partners support the dialogue process. Dialogue is absolutely essential in the 21st century. It’s the way forward and I appreciate very much the ongoing dialogue we have together between our governments, between the people of Kosovo, the people of the United States, I look forward very much to our enduring partnership in the important months ahead. Thank you very much Prime Minister, and again congratulations to all of the people.