Department for International Development
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UK gives its backing for development in Kosovo

UK gives its backing for development in Kosovo

DEPARTMENT FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT News Release issued by COI News Distribution Service. 9 September 2008

Shahid Malik, UK Minister for International Development, visits Kosovo today to give the UK's backing for the world's newest country.

As the first UK Minister to meet the new republic's President and Prime Minister he will signal the UK's support for economic growth and see for himself how Kosovo can become a good place to do business.

His visit follows this summer's international donor conference at which the UK pledged £23 million to help Kosovo over the next three years.

Speaking ahead of his visit Mr Malik said:

"I'm going to Kosovo to understand for myself how the Government of Kosovo is taking on the challenge of building a prosperous new nation, heading towards European integration.

"Stability, prosperity, strong government and effective rule of law, for all communities in Kosovo, are what I want to see and what all Kosovans want to see. With support from the international community, and under the leadership of the Government of Kosovo, this can be achieved."

During his visit Mr Malik will meet key members of the government and explore ways to help Kosovo make the best use of the £1.2 billion donor pledges they received at the conference in July. Following Kosovo's declaration of independence earlier this year, the top priority has been economic growth and employment and the UK is working with others in the international community to make sure this is supported.

The UK is backing the Government of Kosovo's progress towards entry to the EU by helping it improve the performance of government institutions and helping it strengthen the management of its public finances.

Mr Malik will also visit the historic town of Prizren where he will hear from religious leaders about what is being done to restore the formerly divided town and bring about ethnic tolerance. He'll also hear from children at the local school about how their lives have changed since independence and how they learn together in a multi-ethnic setting.

The last leg of his trip will include a visit to the town of Rahovec and some of its local firms to find out more about doing business in Kosovo.

For more information on how the UK is supporting Kosovo go to: http://www.dfid.gov.uk/pubs/files/kosovo-factsheet.pdf

ENDS


For DFID News, see http://www.dfid.gov.uk

DFID, the Department for International Development: leading the British government's fight against world poverty. One in five people in the world today, over 1 billion people, live in poverty on less than one dollar a day.

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Website: http://www.dfid.gov.uk
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