U.S. Relations With Kosovo
More information about Kosovo is available on the Kosovo Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Kosovo in 2008, following its declaration of independence from Serbia.
The United States has been joined by over 100 countries in its recognition of Kosovo as an independent, sovereign state. The United States remains committed to working with the Government of Kosovo and international partners to strengthen Kosovo’s institutions, rule of law, and economy and build a democratic, law-abiding, multi-ethnic, tolerant, and prosperous country. U.S. policy priorities are: ensuring improved rule of law and governance that meets citizens’ needs; ensuring Kosovo has sustainable, inclusive economic growth that supports its stability and integration with Europe; ensuring Kosovo contributes positively to regional stability, including by legally transforming its security sector, countering violent extremism, promoting minority rights, and integrating into Euro-Atlantic structures.
In 2008, the United States became a member of the International Steering Group (ISG), contributing staff to the International Civilian Office (ICO), which supervised the Government of Kosovo's implementation of the Comprehensive Settlement Proposal, commonly known as the Ahtisaari Plan. In September 2012, the United States joined our ISG partners in recognizing the enormous progress Kosovo has achieved, including upholding its commitments to implement the provisions embodied in Special Envoy Ahtisaari's plan and enshrining these into Kosovo law, thereby declaring the end of supervised independence and dissolution of the ICO.
Since 1999, the United States has contributed troops to the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), tasked with maintaining a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all of Kosovo’s citizens. Since its deployment in 2008, the United States also contributed staff to the EU Rule of Law Mission (EULEX), marking the first time the United States participated in an EU Common Security and Defense Policy mission. EULEX works with the Government of Kosovo to strengthen rule of law throughout the country and to monitor, mentor, and advise Kosovo police, justice, and customs officials.
Since 2011, the European Union (EU) has facilitated a dialogue between Serbia and Kosovo on practical issues to improve the lives of citizens and advance them in their European perspectives, a process which the United States supports. On April 19, 2013, the Governments of Kosovo and Serbia concluded a landmark first agreement on normalization of relations, which affirms the primacy of Kosovo’s legal and institutional framework throughout Kosovo’s territory, and provides the basis for substantial local self-governance in Kosovo’s majority Serb north. The EU continues to facilitate talks on implementing the agreement, and on related normalization issues. On May 5, 2014, Kosovo and the EU jointly declared negotiations on a Stabilization and Association Agreement complete, a key step on the path to membership in the European Union. The agreement was signed in October 2015, and ratified by the Kosovo parliament on November 2.
U.S. Assistance to Kosovo
U.S. Government assistance aims to help Kosovo become a stable, democratic, and economically viable country within Europe, offering equal opportunity and protections to all its citizens. Fact sheets on U.S. assistance to Kosovo can be found here.
Bilateral Economic Relations
U.S. investors in Kosovo are involved with projects in the construction, energy, health, IT, and real estate development sectors. Kosovo has been designated as a beneficiary country under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, which promotes economic development by eliminating duties on approximately 3,500 products imported from Kosovo.
Kosovo's Membership in International Organizations
Kosovo joined the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in 2009, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 2012, and the Council of Europe’s Development Bank in 2013. It most recently joined the Council of Europe's Venice Commission, the International Olympic Committee in 2014, and the World Aeronautical Sports Organization and European Athletics Association in 2015. It is not a member of the United Nations. It has a number of diplomatic missions and consular posts worldwide.
Kosovo maintains an embassy in the United States at 2175 K St. NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC, 20037 (tel. 202-380-3581).
More information about Kosovo is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
Department of State Kosovo Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Kosovo Page
USAID Kosovo Page
History of U.S. Relations With Kosovo
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Millennium Challenge Corporation: Kosovo
Library of Congress Country Studies (see Yugoslavia (Former))