Washington, D.C., June 19, 2006 - In an interview at the Voice of America (VOA) Monday, Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu thanked the United States for its longstanding efforts in support of the people of Kosovo, and reaffirmed his province's call for independence.
In a live interview with VOA's Albanian-language TV show Ditari (Journal), President Sejdiu said the United States "has made a huge investment in favor of Kosovo and its citizens." President Sejdiu and Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Çeku are scheduled to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to discuss progress achieved in the negotiations on the final status of Kosovo.
The United Nations is leading talks to determine Kosovo's future. Albanians in Kosovo insist on full independence, while the Belgrade government wants it to remain part of Serbia. President Sejdiu said that his government "will help the Serbian minority integrate in the institutions and establish constitutional guarantees for them." He called this "a sincere offer."
President Sejdiu firmly rejected any proposition aimed at partitioning Kosovo, suggesting that such ideas stem from Belgrade. He also stressed that the mandate of his government is independence for Kosovo.
VOA has played a unique role in broadcasting news and information to Kosovo's Albanian and Serb populations directly, via television. Both Serbian and Albanian politicians have given interviews to VOA in which they addressed members of each other's ethnic communities.
VOA Albanian's popular TV news program Ditari is broadcast 30 minutes each day to audiences throughout the Balkans. VOA also transmits 10.5 hours a week of news in Albanian via shortwave. For more information on this broadcast and VOA Albanian programming, visit our web site on the Internet at www.VOANews.com/Albanian.
The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of more than 100 million people. Programs are produced in 44 languages.
For more information, call the Office of Public Affairs at 202-203-4959 or E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org.