WASHINGTON, July 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President George W. Bush said on Monday the United States will persuade more countries to recognize Kosovo's independence.
"I'm a strong supporter of Kosovo's independence," Bush told reporters after his talks with visiting Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci.
"I pledged that the United States would continue to work with those nations that have not recognized an independent Kosovo to convince them to do so as quickly as possible," he said.
In response, Thaci expressed appreciation for American support for Kosovo's independence. "The Kosovo government and the Kosovo people will always bow in deep respect for the United States and for the U.S. administration," he said.
Sejdiu also pledged that "Kosovo will be a country of democracy, a country of all its citizens. It will have a special respect for the minorities."
Kosovo, an Albanian-dominated Serbian province under UN administration since 1999, unilaterally declared its independence on Feb. 17.
Since Kosovo broke with Serbia, 42 nations have recognized its independence, including the United States and 20 of the 27 EU members.