Kosovar President Hashim Thaci has awarded the Freedom Order to former U.S. President Bill Clinton in gratitude for his role in helping end the 1998-99 war in Kosovo that killed some 13,000 people.
Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright,and other foreign officials are in Pristina to attend a ceremony on June 12 marking 20 years since NATO troops were deployed to help stop a bloody Serb crackdown on ethnic Albanian nationalists in Kosovo, then a province of rump Yugoslavia.
Thaci handed the award to Clinton on June 11, thanking him for his contribution to laying the 'founding stone of this freedom,' and describing the former U.S. president as a 'hero of Kosovo.'
A 78-day NATO bombing campaign ended the conflict, in which more than 10,000 people were killed.
Clinton and Albright were instrumental in getting the NATO campaign approved. Both oversaw the Kosovo-Serbia peace deal after the war.
With reporting by AP
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036