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US Recognizes Kosovo Independence, Serbia Recalls its U.S. Ambassador


The United States has formally recognized Kosovo as a sovereign and independent state, prompting Serbia to recall its ambassador from Washington.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced the move on Monday. She welcomed Kosovo's commitments in its declaration of independence from Serbia Sunday to embrace multi-ethnicity and its agreement to accept a period of international supervision. Rice also reaffirmed America's friendship with Serbia.

U.S. recognition came despite strong objections from Serbia and its traditional ally Russia, which blocked United Nations approval for Kosovo independence.

In Belgrade, Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica told parliament the U.S. continues a policy of using force against his country, and ordered the ambassador, Ivan Bujacic to return home.

Meanwhile, European Union foreign ministers, meeting in Brussels left it up to each member to decide on recognition. Britain, France, Germany and Italy said they will do so, but Spain, Cyprus, Greece, Slovakia and Romania are opposed.
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