Bronx Albanians celebrate Kosovo's independence

BELMONT - As Albanians in Kosovo celebrate their independence from Serbia, Albanians in the Bronx are also rejoicing.

The province declared its independence Sunday from Serbia after years of turmoil and a history of ethnic cleansing. Serbia and Russia are denouncing the move, citing the safety of Kosovo's Serb minority.

Major European powers such as Germany and France said Monday they would recognize Kosovo. However, Spain said it would not recognize Kosovo as a separate state.

In New York, Albanians flooded Times Square Sunday. In the Bronx, Albanian flags proudly fly at various stores along Lydig and Arthur avenues in Belmont, which is home to many Albanians.Kosovo is also getting support from President Bush. On Monday, he hailed Kosovo's historic bid for statehood and the U.S. government extended formal recognition to it as "a sovereign and independent state."

AP wire reports contributed to this story.

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