Clinton Reaffirms U.S. Support for Kosovo Independence

Posted October 31st, 2012 at 10:55 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has firmly reiterated Washington's support for an independent Kosovo, during a tour of the Balkans.

On Wednesday in Pristina, she said “the United States remains firm on Kosovo's sovereignty and territorial integrity.” She was addressing the tensions that remain between the ethnic-Albanian Kosovo government and the Serbian government, which does not recognize Kosovo's 2008 independence declaration.

“We oppose any discussion of territorial changes or reopening Kosovo's independent status. These matters are not up for discussion. The boundaries of an independent, sovereign Kosovo are clear and set.”

Clinton also said the United States wants to see the rule of law extended throughout Kosovo, which is plagued by corruption problems and the competing interests of ethnic Serbs and ethnic Albanians.

On Tuesday in Belgrade, Clinton had urged Serbian leaders to move forward on talks with Kosovo, stressing that such dialogue does not require recognition of the former province's independence.

European Union officials have also urged Belgrade to normalize relations with Kosovo.

Later Wednesday, Clinton was to travel on to Croatia, where she will hail the country's accession to the European Union next year.

From the Croatian capital of Zagreb, she flies to Tirana, Albania, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Albanian independence.