Kosovo celebrates 15th anniversary of independence

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Today marks the 15th anniversary of Kosovo’s independence. There will be a celebration for all Albanians, especially those living outside of Kosovo, in places where Albanian is spoken.

On that frigid Sunday morning on February 17th, 15 years ago, everyone, young and old, found themselves full of anticipation for the day’s celebration and delight, with politics still settling details, even amidst emotions, and residents flooding the streets of Pristina. The Parliament was preparing for the momentous session later that day, when Kosovo would be recognized a free and independent state.

For days, people had debated independence, but no one had confirmed the hour or any formal public agenda. It was completely different from today, when everyone appears to have their remarks and earlier preparations ready. Unlike now, political discussion on February 17th was more restrained. What has not changed from February 17th to today, 15 years later, is the presence of KFOR forces on the ground, primarily in the country’s north.

Therefore, amid the ongoing political turmoil in Pristina, conflicts and debates in dozens of rounds of talks between Kosovo and Serbia, rising tensions between them, roadblocks and ongoing difficulties in the north, where Kosovo still struggles to extend its authority, the state is already 15 years old.

The current issues are the same as they have always been. Mutual recognition, dialogue, the north, relations with Serbia, the Association, and the international community acting as intermediaries once more.

Today, A2 CNN will speak about that February 17th and current February 17th through the voices and memories of the characters from that period.