AP, July 22, 2008
Bush urges more support for Kosovo independence
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush pledged Monday to seek broader international support for Kosovo's independence from Serbia and said the United States opposes any partition of the poor Balkan nation.
Bush met in the Oval Office with Kosovo's president, Fatmir Sejdiu, and its prime minister, Hashim Thaci.
"I'm a strong supporter of Kosovo's independence," the president said. "I'm against any partition of Kosovo. I believe strongly that the United Nations mission must be transferred to the EU as quickly as possible."
Since Kosovo broke with Serbia and declared itself sovereign in February, 42 nations have recognized its independence, including the U.S. and 20 of the 27 EU members. An international donors' meeting earlier this month produced $1.9 billion in pledges. Serbia, with strong Russian backing, remains vehemently opposed to Kosovo's split.
"I pledged that the United States would continue to work with those nations that have not recognized an independent Kosovo to convince them to do so as quickly as possible," Bush said.
In his remarks, Sejdiu said, "Kosovo will be a country of democracy, a country of all its citizens. It will have a special respect for the minorities. We are very much interested to have good relations with the Republic of Serbia. Our progress will be with the integration of NATO and the EU."