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Kosovo celebrates 12th anniversary of independence

Thaci, freed from Serbia's occupation and repression

17 February, 17:03
(ANSA) - BELGRADE, FEBRUARY 17 - Kosovo celebrates today the 12th anniversary of the proclamation of independence from Serbia, with official meetings and commemorative ceremonies for those killed in the 'liberation war' against Belgrade forces in the late 1990s. A special memory is dedicated to the first president of independent Kosovo Ibrahim Rugova and Adem Jasarij, one of the founders of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), the Albanian independence guerrilla who fought against the Serbs. "Kosovo is now a factor of stability in the region, achieved with a lot of work and many victims," said President Hashim Thaci. "Kosovo - he added - has been freed from the occupation and repression of Serbia" thanks to the KLA and with the support of the "United States, European countries, the whole free and democratic world, and the intervention of Nato".

Congratulatory messages on the anniversary of independence were sent to the leaders in Pristina by American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Albanian President Iljir Meta. Serbia's stance is completely different. The government in Belgrade does not recognize the independence Kosovo, continuing to consider the country as Serbia's southern province inhabited by an Albanian majority. Kosovo was recognized by a hundred countries so far, including Italy, the US, and most western countries, but not by Serbia, Russia, China, and five EU member states - Spain, Greece, Romania, Cyprus, and Slovakia. (ANSA)
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