|Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci smiles during a|
press conference in Vienna on July 2. (Source: AFP)
Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaci welcomed the move, stating it as "historic".
"This day shows how long the journey we have passed as the nation striving towards freedom and independence," Thaci said.
The International Steering Group - consisting of 23 European nations, Turkey and the United States - make the decision almost four-and-a-half years after Kosovo first declared independence from Serbia.
However, the NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force, along with police and legal experts from the European Union, are expected to remain in the region to assist in ensuring safety and security.
|Police detain a man wearing a shirt reading "Greater|
Serbia" during a celebration of the anniversary of the
1389 Battle of Kosovo Polje at Gazimestan on June 28.
The local Serbs - who account for around 5 per cent of the population, mostly in the north of the country - reject Kosovo's independence, and openly oppose the Pristina government.