US President Donald Trump has sent a message Hashim Thaci congratulating him on the anniversary of Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence (UDI).

Below is a press statement signed by Rex Tillerson, U.S Secretary of State:

“On behalf of the United States, I am pleased to congratulate the people of Kosovo on your independence day on February 17.

The partnership between our countries is based on shared values and common interests. A sovereign, multiethnic, democratic Kosovo’s future lies in a stable and prosperous Balkan region that is fully integrated into the international community.

The United States celebrated with all Kosovo citizens the historic gold medal win during the Olympic Games in Brazil, as well as your soccer team’s inaugural season in the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA).

We look forward to continuing our broad and deep cooperation, focused on supporting increased democratic and economic development, strengthening rule of law in Kosovo, resolving disputes with neighbors, and countering violent extremism and foreign terrorist fighters.”

Trump’s message “should not be the cause of any wonder,” Tanjug said on Thursday – “considering that the White House recently announced it would not change its stance on Kosovo.”

Ethnic Albanians in Serbia’s southern province of Kosovo unilaterally declared independence nine years ago, on February 17, 2008.

Serbia continues to reject the proclamation as an illegal violation of its Constitution, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.