The International Court of Justice has ruled by a majority margin that the Kosovan declaration of independence two years ago was legal. The Court does not have actual authority and is more of an advisory body, but by a 10-4 ruling it showed that Kosovo is legally separated from its former oppressor, Serbia.
Kosovo and Albania, both Muslim nations, are both allies of the United States and Albania has been a steadfast ally in the War on Terror, sending combat troops to Afghanistan and Iraq.
And when President Bush visited the country in 2007 he received an intense welcome:
And while there the Ambassador of Albania to the US wrote the following in the Washington Times:
From a country with only 3.5 million people, the troops — the flower of Albania’s youth — represent the best Albania has to offer. Why does Albania do this when it could have avoided President Bush’s call for support, or when it could have dropped out as others have done when the going got tough? The answer is not difficult to find. If you believe in freedom, you believe in fighting for it. If you believe in fighting for freedom, you believe in America.
Unlike people in other countries in Europe and elsewhere, the Albanian people have not forgotten what it is like to live under tyranny and repression. The Albanians for more than 40 years were held in thrall by the repressive forces of the communists, living like prisoners without rights in their own country. It was to the United States that freedom-loving Albanians looked for inspiration during those dark years, and the Americans have not let us down.
Albania has stood with us from the darkest days in late 2001 to the fight in Iraq during the Surge to Afghanistan today. Albania has contributed more per capita to forces in Iraq and Afghanistan that any other nation on the planet and will not back down.
In the late 1990s during the Serbian-engineered genocide in Kosovo, al Qaeda came to “help” their fellow Muslims in an attempt to fight the Serbian army. Instead the Albanian guerrillas drove al Qaeda out embarassed.
President Bush was proud to support Kosovo’s right to self-determination. I certainly am proud to stand with him.
Cross-posted at JiP.