Posted at: 07/06/2013 2:35 PM

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Iowa to Make Sister-State Relationship with Kosovo

(AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is heading to Europe this weekend for a trade mission.

Branstad leaves Saturday and will travel to Germany, Italy, Kosovo and Switzerland.

Iowa is establishing a sister-state relationship with Kosovo. Branstad said last month that Iowa and Kosovo have developed a unique partnership due to more than 700 Iowa National Guard soldiers who have served there on peacekeeping missions since 2003.

The agreement will mark Iowa's ninth sister-state relationship.

The European trip will cost about $17,000 for Branstad and his wife, Chris. Those costs will be covered by Iowa Economic Development Authority Foundation funds, not state funding.