U.S. Vice President Thanks Kosovo For Hosting Afghans
By RFE/RL's Balkan Service September 04, 2021
U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris spoke by phone with Kosovar President Vjosa Osmani on September 3 to convey U.S. gratitude for the country's assistance in efforts to evacuate people from Afghanistan, a statement from Harris's office said.
Harris affirmed the "strong relationship between the United States and Kosovo and expressed her appreciation for Kosovo's temporary hosting of vulnerable Afghans," the statement said.
Osmani's office said in a statement that Harris emphasized that the United States is deeply grateful to Kosovo for the close cooperation, will, and generosity it has shown.
Kosovo agreed to temporarily host about 2,000 at-risk Afghans who worked with U.S.-led international forces while their immigration status to the United States is processed. About 500 Afghans have arrived in Kosovo so far. Kosovo authorities have said the Afghans can stay for up to a year.
During the call, Osmani and Harris also discussed the COVID-19 pandemic. Osmani expressed gratitude for the donation of more than half a million doses of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine, which Harris said will begin arriving in Kosovo this weekend. They are in addition to about 35,000 doses already delivered.
Harris also underscored U.S. support for the government's efforts to strengthen rule of law and U.S. hopes for progress in the European Union-led Kosovo-Serbia dialogue process. The negotiations are aimed at resolving disputes between Serbia and Kosovo, a former province of Serbia that declared independence in 2008.
Serbia, Russia, and five EU nations have not recognized Kosovo as independent, while the United States and more than 110 other countries have.
Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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