News / Europe

Kosovo Marks 5 Years Since Secession, Vows to Join EU, NATO

Members of the Kosovo Security Force march during a celebration marking the fifth anniversary of Kosovo's secession from Serbia in Pristina February 17, 2013.Members of the Kosovo Security Force march during a celebration marking the fifth anniversary of Kosovo's secession from Serbia in Pristina February 17, 2013.
x
Members of the Kosovo Security Force march during a celebration marking the fifth anniversary of Kosovo's secession from Serbia in Pristina February 17, 2013.
Members of the Kosovo Security Force march during a celebration marking the fifth anniversary of Kosovo's secession from Serbia in Pristina February 17, 2013.
Kosovo has marked the fifth anniversary of its secession from Serbia with a festive military parade in the capital and a pledge to seek full membership in Western institutions.
 
Sunday's parade saw members of the Kosovo Security Force march through Pristina as big crowds lined the streets, which were decorated with the national flag and that of the United States, a key ally.
 
Addressing the event, Kosovo's ceremonial President Atifete Jahjage said her nation is committed to an "everlasting friendship" with Washington and meeting the conditions for membership of the European Union and NATO alliance. She said also Pristina respects the sovereignty of other countries and expects them to do the same with Kosovo.
 
Western powers are among 98 countries that have recognized Kosovo as a state since it declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Those powers led a NATO air offensive that ousted Serbian forces from Kosovo in 1999, putting its ethnic Albanian majority on a path toward statehood. An International Steering Group of Kosovo's allies ended their "supervision" of its independence last September.
 
Serbia rejects Kosovo's secession, but recently agreed to a high-level dialogue aimed at improving relations between the two sides. The Serbian and Kosovar presidents held their first talks earlier this month, meeting in Brussels under E.U. mediation. More talks between their prime ministers are due to be held in Brussels on Tuesday.
 
The E.U. has pressured Serbia to cooperate with Kosovo as part of Belgrade's bid to become a member of the 27-nation bloc.
 
Despite Sunday's festivities, Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci acknowledged "much more" must be done to confront major challenges facing the young state of 1.8 million people, who are among the poorest in Europe.
 
Minority Serbs in northern Kosovo have refused to recognize Pristina's authority or institutions. Another serious problem is unemployment, which stands at around 40 percent. Kosovo's government also has struggled to deal with corruption and organized crime.
 
Among its notable achievements in recent years, Kosovo has become a member of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Michael Lipin

Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid