A delegation of officials from Kosovo are in Iowa this week, visiting an Iowa farm and the headquarters of the Iowa National Guard. 

The President of the Republic of Kosovo is here in Iowa on a trip organized by the U.S. Defense Department. It’s the result of a program that links state National Guard units with officials in other countries to build long-term relationships. Hundreds of Iowa National Guard soldiers have been deployed on peacekeeping missions in Kosovo over the past decade. Neighboring Serbia still refuses to recognize Kosovo’s independence.

Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga will tour an Iowa cattle operation and a wind turbine farm during his three-day visit to Iowa. He’ll also meet with state officials, including members of the Iowa Supreme Court, and with staff from Iowa State University, Des Moines University and Graceland University.

The former president of Graceland from 2002 through 2006 had served as a key U.S. official in Kosovo and Bosnia during the Clinton Administration and went back in 2006 to oversee negotiations for Kosovo’s independence. Dozens of students from the region enrolled at Graceland during the past decade.