The president of Kosovo is in the midst of a three-day tour through Iowa.
“We are going to have a much easier and smoother future because we have chosen our strong partner, which is the United States of America,” President Atifete Jahjaga said today.
Her visit was organized by a U.S. government program that pairs developing countries with state National Guard units. Iowa National Guard Adjutant General Tim Orr is her host for the trip.
“With that partnership, we created a vision in Iowa that said this is really about not the military. It’s not about security, but about the whole of Iowa, the whole of Kosovo approach,” Orr told reporters today.
Kosovo’s president is visiting Iowa State University, Des Moines University and Graceland University this week, plus she’ll meet with Iowa business and political leaders, including the governor and members of the Iowa Supreme Court, to learn about how our government functions. Bill Couser — owner of the Couser Cattle Company near Nevada — gave Kosovo’s president a tour of his livestock operation early Wednesday afternoon.
“Our door is always open,” Couser told President Jahjaga. “If you have farmers that need to come here and we can help, we will.”
Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008. Iowa National Guard units have been deployed to the area over the past decade on a series of peace-keeping missions. Serbia has not recognized Kosovo’s independence, nor has Russia or China. President Jahjaga is 36 years old, among the five youngest heads of state in the world. She’s a lawyer who had been director of the country’s police she became Kosovo’s president in 2011.