Kosovo–United States relations

The United States officially recognized the Republic of Kosovo[a] as a country, which declared independence from Serbia on February 17, 2008, the next day.[1][2]

Kosovo–United States


United States
Diplomatic mission
Embassy of Kosovo, Washington, D.C.Embassy of the United States, Pristina
Ambassador Valdet SadikuAmbassador Philip S. Kosnett


Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi (left), U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (centre) and President Fatmir Sejdiu (right) with Kosovo Declaration of Independence, 2009

The US established full diplomatic relations at Ambassador level with the Republic of Kosovo.[3] Kosovo considers the United States its greatest partner in gaining recognition from the rest of the world, and such view is also expressed from United States Officials.

The United States and Kosovo established diplomatic relations on February 18, 2008. U.S. President George W. Bush on February 19, 2008 stated that recognizing Kosovo as an independent nation would "bring peace to a region scarred by war".[4] The bilateral ties the United States shares with Kosovo are maintained through the U.S. Embassy in Pristina, which was opened on April 8, 2008 by then-Chargé d'Affaires ad interim Tina Kaidanow. Prior to the declaration of independence, the United States maintained U.S. Office Pristina (USOP), with a chief of mission. The US also continues to contribute troops to the Kosovo Force (KFOR), and will be providing staff to the ICO and EULEX missions.

During the European Commission-hosted international Donors' Conference on July 11, 2008 the United States pledged $400 million for 2008–2009 to support, among many other things, helping relieve debt Kosovo may inherit. U.S. assistance in Kosovo continues to support governance through strengthening civil society and political processes, especially targeting minority communities, and aims to strengthen economic institutions and help private enterprise grow.

In May 2009, then Vice President Biden visited Kosovo and was greeted by large crowds.[5] He affirmed the US position that Kosovan "independence is irreversible".[5] The Obama administration remained committed to Kosovo.[6] In August 2016, Vice President Joe Biden, visited Kosovo and attended a ceremony that renamed a southeastern highway "Joseph R. 'Beau' Biden, III" to honour his son Beau's contribution to Kosovo for training its judges and prosecutors.[2][7][8] The US has a large military base in Kosovo named Camp Bondsteel, and it forms part of its defence strategy for the region.[6]

Kosovo has named certain places in Pristina after U.S. leaders such as Bill Clinton Boulevard and George W. Bush Street.[9][10][2][6] Around Pristina, other streets are named after former military commanders involved in the NATO campaign, honouring their role to conflict between local Albanians and the Yugoslav army.[2] The capital also has woman's clothing shop named Hillary, after Hillary Clinton and atop on some large buildings and hotels architectural features replicating US monuments and symbols like the Statue of Liberty or the bald eagle.[2] In Kosovo, Bill Clinton is considered an iconic figure and hero.[6][2] Many US flags are flown throughout Kosovo from buildings.[6] The US donated funds and built one of the largest film studio's in Europe, located in the suburbs of Pristina.[11]

Widespread sentiments of gratitude are held by people in Kosovo to the US for playing a major role in ending Serb control of the area.[6][7] These sentiments increased, including support toward the US, especially after it recognised Kosovan independence.[6] The Kosovo population also support the US engagement with the Balkans, which is viewed as anti-Serbian.[6] After the Kosovo War, the US remains popular among the Kosovo Albanian population.[6] According to the 2012 U.S. Global Leadership Report, 87% of Kosovars approve of U.S. leadership, the highest rating for any survey in Europe.[12] According to a 2016 report by Gallup, Kosovo led the region and the world again in approval for the second consecutive year, with 85% approving of U.S. leadership.[13] According to a recent report by Gallup of U.S. Leadership on Trump's term, Kosovo led the region and the world again in approving of U.S leadership with 75% approval.[14]

US-mediated Kosovo–Serbia negotiations

Aleksandar Vučić, President of Serbia (left), Donald Trump, President of the United States (middle), and Avdullah Hoti, Prime Minister of Kosovo (right), signing the 2020 Kosovo–Serbia economic agreement in the White House, 2020.

On October 4, 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump appointed Richard Grenell as the Special Presidential Envoy for Serbia and Kosovo Peace Negotiations.[15] After months of diplomatic talks, on January 20, 2020, Serbia and Kosovo agreed to restore flights between Belgrade and Pristina for the first time in over 20 years.[16][17]

On September 4, 2020, the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, and the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Avdullah Hoti, signed an agreement on the normalisation of economic relations between Serbia and Kosovo at the White House.[18] The deal will encompass freer transit, including by rail and road, while both parties agreed to work with the Export–Import Bank of the United States and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation and to join the Mini Schengen Zone, but the agreement also included the mutual recognition between Israel and Kosovo.[19][20]

U.S. embassy

The fifth and current United States Ambassador to Kosovo is Philip Scott Kosnett.

Kosovo embassy

Vlora Çitaku is the current ambassador from Kosovo to the U.S. The Embassy of the Republic of Kosovo in the United States is located in Washington DC.

See also


a.   ^ Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Serbia. The Republic of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence on 17 February 2008. Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. The two governments began to normalise relations in 2013, as part of the 2013 Brussels Agreement. Kosovo is currently recognized as an independent state by 96 out of the 193 United Nations member states. In total, 113 UN member states are said to have recognized Kosovo at some point, of which 15 later withdrew their recognition.


  1. U.S. recognizes independent Kosovo
  2. Bezhan, Frud (17 August 2016). "Word On The Street Is That Kosovo Has A Love Affair With Americans". Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  3. "US Embassy Pristina". Retrieved 2008-04-17.
  4. U.S., Britain, France back Kosovo
  5. Chun 2011, pp. 91, 94.
  6. Chun, Kwang-Ho (2011). "Kosovo: A New European Nation-State?" (PDF). Journal of International and Area Studies. 18 (1): 94.
  7. Bytyci, Fatos (15 August 2016). "'We owe you so much,' Kosovo to tell Biden as street named after late son". Reuters. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  8. Rucker, Philip; Viser, Matt; DeBonis, Mike (6 March 2020). "Trump and allies resume attacks on Biden's son as the Democrat surges". The Washington Post. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  9. "Albanian Street Named After George W. Bush :: Balkan Insight". www.balkaninsight.com. 2007-06-08. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  10. "Kosovo shops celebrate Hillary Clinton and her style". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
  11. Mitrović-Marić, Jasmina (2009). "Mladi i Kosovo". Danica. Vuk. Vuk's Foundation: 173–177.
  12. and in the world U.S. Global Leadership Project Report - 2012 Gallup
  13. U.S. Gallup Report - 2016 Gallup
  14. Kosovo Leads World in Cheering for Trump, Poll Shows
  15. Bayer, Lili. "Trump names Ric Grenell his special envoy for Serbia and Kosovo – POLITICO". Politico.eu. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  16. "Serbia-Kosovo Flights to Resume Under U.S.-Brokered Deal". The New York Times. 2020-01-20.
  17. "Kosovo-Serbia flights to restart after two decades". Euronews. 2020-01-25.
  18. Riechmann, Deb (4 September 2020). "Serbia, Kosovo normalize economic ties, gesture to Israel". Associated Press. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
  19. "Documents signed at the White House cover wider scope than expected". European Western Balkans. September 4, 2020. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  20. Gearan, Anne (September 4, 2020). "Serbia and Kosovo sign breakthrough economic accord that is short of normal relations". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 4, 2020.