UPDATES WITH REMARKS FROM KOSOVO'S PRESIDENT, ADDS DETAILS
By Elena Teslova and Talha Ozturk
MOSCOW (AA) - Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama on Wednesday urged Serbia to recognize Kosovo as an independent state.
The sooner Serbia recognizes Kosovo, the better it will be for everyone, including Serbia itself, Rama told a news conference in Moscow.
"We support dialogue, reconciliation and finding a common ground to make this happen," he said, adding that both the sides should refrain from accusations -- something that could hinder progress.
He questioned why other states had the right to independence if Kosovo was being deprived of it.
Meanwhile, Kosovo's President Hashim Thaci said an agreement with Serbia would bring mutual recognition and membership to the UN.
Thaci's remarks came on Wednesday during his official visit to the U.S., where he also met with Matthew Palmer, the U.S. special representative for the Western Balkans.
"At a working dinner, we discussed the possibility of reaching a final agreement with Serbia that will bring Kosovo's mutual recognition and membership to the United Nations,” Thaci said on the social media.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 but Belgrade insists the country is one of its provinces.
Since then, the international community remains divided on its recognition as a sovereign state.
While more than 100 countries, including the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Turkey recognize its independence, Russia and China, among others, oppose it.