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On behalf of the United States of America, I congratulate the people of Kosovo as you celebrate your fifteenth anniversary as a sovereign, independent state.

This year the United States and Kosovo reaffirmed our strong partnership and shared commitment to Kosovo’s democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity as we meet new challenges in the European security environment.  Kosovo’s progress over fifteen years of independence is remarkable for its great strides in developing a stable, multiethnic, inclusive democracy.

Kosovo is one of the youngest countries in the world; its citizens are rightly proud of the progress Kosovo has made in promoting and advancing democratic values and strengthening institutions to deliver good governance, rule of law, and economic opportunity for all Kosovans.  We are deeply grateful for Kosovo’s generous hosting of relocated Afghans, Kosovo’s firm response to Russia’s brutal, unprovoked war against Ukraine, and for assisting journalists and others who sought refuge in your country.

The enduring partnership between the United States and Kosovo is rooted in the mutual understanding, values, and friendship between our people.  I look forward to continued collaboration on our shared priorities to strengthen security and stability in Kosovo and the Western Balkans.  Normalization of relations with Serbia, centered on eventual mutual recognition, remains essential to this.  The agreement recently proposed under the EU-facilitated Dialogue has our strong support and will greatly advance your country toward greater regional stability and European and Euro-Atlantic integration.  Congratulations again to all the people of Kosovo—our friend, partner, and ally—on this important day.  I wish you a peaceful and prosperous year ahead.

U.S. Department of State

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