<!-- IMAGE -->
Kosovo and Macedonia have agreed to establish full diplomatic relations after resolving a long-running border dispute. Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashi Thaci said the border agreement will make it easier for Kosovo citizens who own land in Macedonian territory to cross the border. Macedonian Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki said the 2 countries hoped for “stronger ties based on common respect for national sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity.”
Macedonia recognized Kosovo’s independence in October 2008, but the countries did not establish full diplomatic relations until resolving the border issue.
Kosovo is a country with 2 million inhabitants, 90 percent of whom are ethnic Albanians. Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008, 9 years after the 1999 end of Belgrade's ethnic cleansing campaign in Kosovo under the government of Slobodan Milosevic. Before becoming independent, Kosovo was under United Nations administration and patrolled by NATO peacekeepers who are still in the country to help ensure a safe and secure environment. To date, Kosovo has been recognized by 62 countries, including the United States and most of the European Union.
The United States warmly welcomes the establishment of diplomatic relations between the republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Macedonia, as well as the successful completion of the demarcation of their shared border. The United States commends the leadership of both countries for their resolve in taking a significant step toward Euro-Atlantic integration by establishing productive bilateral relations and enhancing regional stability.