Accessibility links

Breaking News

Kosovo's Future

U.S Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon shakes hand with Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci (R) after signing an agreement to support education authorities in capital Pristina, June 16, 2011.

"Kosovo needs to be seen as a country that is committed to fighting corruption."

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon visited Kosovo on his recent tour of the Balkans. He stressed the importance of establishing and nurturing a free-market economy and the necessity for rule of law in attracting foreign investors. "Kosovo needs to be seen as a country that is committed to fighting corruption," said the Assistant Secretary "that it's committed to strengthening its democracy."

The United States is encouraged by the on-going European Union, or EU-facilitated dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo in light of Serbia's strong initial objections to Kosovo's independence in 2008. The United States' vision for this region, said Assistant Secretary Gordon, "is one in which both Kosovo and Serbia move down the path towards European integration, and for that to happen the two countries need to agree on practical matters that improve the lives of all people in both countries." One such issue includes allowing goods from Kosovo through Serbian customs. The two sides are also working to reach agreements on energy, telecommunications, land and civil registries, freedom of movement and regional cooperation.

With regard to border issues, the United States does not support calls for Kosovo's partition along ethnic lines. Assistant Secretary Gordon was very clear: "We are not contemplating it. We are against it. . . .Partition would have consequences that would be negative for the entire region. We're absolutely clear about our commitment to Kosovo's sovereignty and territorial integrity." There are many ways to ensure that all citizens in Kosovo, including the Serbian minority, are able to have a strong voice in the government, and have their rights and security protected. "A Balkan region based on drawing borders around every ethnic group would be a recipe for disaster," said Assistant Secretary Gordon. There are better ways to accommodate all of Kosovo's citizens.

The United States seeks to have good relations with all the countries in the Balkan region and has worked on a better relationship with Serbia without putting aside our views on Kosovo. EU membership is "our vision for the entire region," said Assistant Secretary Gordon, "and it requires us to have good, strong, and friendly relations with all the countries in the region."