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Kosovo Ambassador Visits Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa- The ambassador to the U.S from the Republic of Kosovo traveled to Cedar Rapids on Monday to follow up on a new sister state relationship with Iowa.

Akan Ismaili represents the Republic, which was once part of Yugoslavia, in Washington. He and others in an official Sister State party visited Midamar founder Bill Aossey at the business in southwest Cedar Rapids. Aossey was part of the official delegation to join the governor last month in signing Iowa's 9th Sister State agreement in Kosovo.

At least 700 members of the Iowa National Guard have served in Kosovo over the years as part of a peacekeeping force.

But Ismaili said he wants to move relations with Iowa beyond just the military cooperation.

"We have that relationship going for over three years now and it's an active one and we just thought it would be nice and a great opportunity for us to take this into the civilian sector as well," Ismaili said.

Midamar exports food products from Iowa, and elsewhere, all over the world. The company is looking at a natural juice produced in Kosovo to possibly add it to its list of food products.

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