Kosovo gives Trump Order of Freedom for his role in securing deal with Serbia

Trump was given the award for his 'exceptional' contribution to freedom in Kosovo

Kosovo gave President Trump one of its highest honors on Friday for his role in an historic economic normalization deal with Serbia earlier this month.

President Hashim Thaci awarded Trump the country’s Order of Freedom “for his exceptional contribution for the freedom of Kosovo and the strengthening of Peace and reconciliation in the region.”

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The award is given to those who made significant contributions to defending Kosovo’s freedom.

Trump earlier this month oversaw the signing of the agreement between Serbia and Kosovo, which normalizes economic relations -- and also sees Kosovo recognizing Israel, and Serbia agreeing to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

The deal was signed by Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo's Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti –­ in front of Trump in the Oval Office -- with Trump describing it as a "major breakthrough."

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Kosovo had declared independence from Serbia in 2008, nine years after NATO conducted an airstrike campaign against Serbia in a bid to end the brutal persecution of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

While most Western nations have recognized Kosovo’s independence, Serbia, Russia and China have not — keeping tensions high in the Balkan region.

Trump was praised for the deal, and even received another nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. Magnus Jacobsson, a member of the Swedish Parliament, said he was nominating Trump along with Serbia and Kosovo “for their joint work for peace and economic development, through the cooperation agreement signed in the White House.”

On Friday, President Thaci also said he was giving Presidential Medals of Merit to National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and Richard Grenell, who served as envoy for the talks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.