News

Rice Predicts Wider Recognition of Kosovo

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Friday she expects growing international recognition of Kosovo and that opponents of independence for the former Serbian province will come to terms with that reality. Rice met with Kosovo's President Fatmir Sejdiu and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci to mark six months of Kosovar independence. VOA's David Gollust reports from the State Department.

Kosovo independence was bitterly opposed by Serbia and its political ally Russia, which has blocked formal acceptance of the new state by the U.N. Security Council.

But welcoming the two Kosovar leaders at the State Department, Secretary Rice said more than 40 countries have recognized Kosovo including a majority of Security Council member countries and over two-thirds of the members of the European Union and NATO.

She pledged continuing support for Kosovo by the United States, which pledged more than $400 million in new aid over two years at a donors conference last month in Brussels.

Rice said if Kosovo, which has a sizeable ethnic-Serb minority continues to deliver on commitments to protect minority rights and religious freedom, broader political acceptance will be forthcoming:

"I believe that, if Kosovo continues to concentrate on building its multi-ethnic democracy, on protecting minority rights, on protecting religious freedom, on building institutions that can deliver for its people economically - which is why the donors conference, which was very successful, was so important that Kosovo will have a bright future. And those who did not wish to see an independent Kosovo will understand that there is an independent Kosovo and it is going to continue to be," he said.

Rice said the United States has reached out to and wants good relations with Serbia, which has a new politically moderate government, and believes the future of both Serbia and Kosovo are in Europe.

For his part, Prime Minister Thaci expressed gratitude for U.S. political and economic support and said his government is seeking amicable ties with everyone in the region. "Our country is a country of peace, stability and with a prospective of development of excellent relations with all the neighboring countries - Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and in the future, Serbia. We pledge that we'll achieve more successes in the future so that Kosovo will become part of the family - of the NATO family and E.U. and will have excellent relations with the United States," he said.

The two Kosovar leaders are to meet President Bush on Monday.

In advance of the White House meeting, the monitoring group Human Rights Watch said Mr. Bush should use the talks to press for improvement in what it said is Kosovo's poor human rights record.

Human Rights Watch said Kosovo has a broken criminal justice system that frequently lets political and ethnic violence go unpunished.

It also cited domestic violence, the trafficking of women, and discrimination against small ethnic minorities as key deficiencies, and said Kosovo has failed to adequately investigate the fate of hundreds of Serbs missing after warfare there a decade ago.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs