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U.S. Vice President 'Reassures' Kosovar Prime Minister Ahead Of ICJ Decision

Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci (file photo)
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has "reassured" Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci of U.S. support ahead of the July 22 International Court of Justice (ICJ) advisory opinion on the legality of Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia.

"The reassurance of the United States has been continuous, but also today," said Memli Krasniqi, spokesman for the government of Kosovo and political adviser to the prime minister, who also attended the meeting with Biden. "The vice president reassured us, reassured the prime minister, that the United States will stand behind Kosovo no matter what."

Krasniqi said that economic issues, the rule of law in Kosovo, and future Euro-Atlantic integration were also discussed.

A White House statement said that during the meeting, which was also attended by other top administration officials, Biden "reiterated the United States' firm support for Kosovo's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

On July 20, during a speech at the United States Institute of Peace, a Washington, D.C. think tank, Thaci pledged to respect the opinion of the ICJ, but said the independence of Kosovo would remain "irreversible."

The Kosovar prime minister is to be hosted by a group of U.S. senators at a lunch on July 22, where according to Krasniqi, they will release a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama asking him to push for broader international recognition of Kosovo's independence.