The multi-national group supervising Kosovo’s independence has decided to grant it full rights of national sovereignty as of September.
The International Steering Group — composed of 25 western nations — has been responsible for overseeing Kosovo’s independence and helping establish democratic institutions in the former Serbian province, which has a two-million strong ethnic Albanian majority.
Kosovo has been under international administration since a NATO bombing campaign ousted Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic’s forces in 1999. Kosovo formally declared independence from Serbia in 2008.
The move by the International Steering Group will ease Kosovo’s way toward eventual membership in the European Union and NATO.