PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — U.S. President Joe Biden says he is touched by Kosovo’s awarding of a medal to his late son Beau, who was in the Balkan country 20 years ago to help establish the rule of law there as it became independent from Yugoslavia.
In a pre-recorded speech published Friday on Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani’s Facebook page, Biden said: “The nation of Kosovo is in the hearts of the entire Biden family.”
Osmani will host a ceremony Sunday to award a posthumous Presidential Medal on the Rule of Law to Beau Biden.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a decade after a brutal 1998-1999 war between separatist ethnic Albanian rebels and Serb forces. The war ended after a 78-day NATO air campaign drove Serb troops out and a peacekeeping force moved in.
President Biden described the medal as “incredible” and “a great honor to recognize the legacy of our son.”
Beau Biden worked in Kosovo after the 1998-1999 war with the military forces and also with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
He died in 2015 of brain cancer at age 46.
Most Western nations have recognized Kosovo, but Serbia and its allies Russia and China do not. Tensions over Kosovo remain a source of volatility in the Balkans.
Llazar Semini reported from Tirana, Albania.
Follow Llazar Semini at https://twitter.com/lsemini