Ambassador Hovenier’s Message on Kosovo’s 15th Anniversary of Independence, February 17, 2023
15 years ago today, on February 17, 2008, Kosovo declared independence.
Just one day later, on February 18, 2008, the United States formally recognized Kosovo as a sovereign and independent state. On this occasion, then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stated, “the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries will reaffirm the special ties of friendship that have linked together the people of the United States and Kosovo.”
Kosovo has traveled on a remarkable journey over the past 15 years.
Over this decade and a half – and more – I’ve had the privilege and honor of witnessing your remarkable history. I’ve personally seen the great progress the people of Kosovo have achieved over the past 15 years.
Make no mistake: this is the result of the hard work and dedication of the people of Kosovo to advance the country’s sovereignty, independence, and democracy.
The United States is proud of our early and ongoing support for Kosovo and of our partnership with the people of Kosovo as this young country takes its rightful place in European, Euro-Atlantic, and international structures.
We’ve been with you from the beginning, and our partnership remains rock solid.
As we look forward, we appreciate and recognize Kosovo’s efforts to build a prosperous, stable, and secure future.
We are here to support you and to partner with you. We will continue to deepen our partnership, because at its heart, our relationship is about our shared values of freedom, democracy, independence, and diversity.
So today, as we mark this momentous occasion, and on behalf of the American people, I’m proud to offer the United States’ heartiest congratulations. Happy Independence Day, Kosovo!