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Kosovo: Obama shuns Kosovo leader Thaci

last update: April 06, 17:34

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Washington, 6 April (AKI) - Kosovo prime minister Hashim Thaci ended a three-day visit to Washington on Friday, winning support for Kosovo’s independence and membership in the European Union, but was shunned by president Barrack Obama.

Thaci met with Secretary of state Hilary Clinton on Wednesday and vice-president Joseph Biden on Thursday. He had announced a meeting with president Obama on Friday, but the meeting wasn’t realized and there was no explanation.

At a joint press conference with Thaci, Clinton hailed a recent EU decision to work on a feasibility study for Kosovo’s membership. “It is a step forward towards Kosovo’s membership in the European Union, which confirms that Kosovo and EU statesmen are determined to strengthen relations,” Clinton said.

Belgrade opposes Kosovo independence, but Clinton pledged continued support to Pristina and called on Kosovo and Serbian leaders to remain “dedicated to dialogue” and to implement recently reached agreements.

Under the auspices of the EU, Belgrade and Pristina recently agreed on joint border control, representation of Kosovo in regional meetings, recognition of university diplomas and exchange of birth and land registers.

Kosovo media reported the meeting with Biden was held behind closed doors and there were no statements. But Thaci’s office said in a statement Biden congratulated him on the “courage for making very important decisions in the interest of Kosovo”.

“Biden gave guarantees that the US will remain maximally engaged in Kosovo and will demand implementation of all agreements reached,” the statement said.

Kosovo independence, declared by majority Albanians in 2008, has been recognized by more than eighty countries, including the United States and 22 out of 27 EU members.

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