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news 31 Oct 17

Kosovo Says Suriname Can’t Revoke Independence Recognition

After Serbia’s foreign minister said that the South American state of Suriname has revoked its recognition of Kosovo, the Pristina government claimed that this is not possible under international law.

Die Morina
The Kosovo government building. Photo: Kallxo.com

The Kosovo government on Tuesday said that it was not possible for Suriname to rescind its recognition, despite Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic’s insistence that the small South American state has just done so.

It also questioned whether a letter purportedly from Suriname’s permanent mission to the United Nations confirming the reversal, which was shown off by Dacic in Belgrade earlier on Tuesday, was valid because it referred to Serbia’s name for its former province, Kosovo and Metohija.

“First, in the international law there is no concept of withdrawing a recognition, there is the freezing of diplomatic relations or the withdrawal of diplomatic staff; secondly, there is no state called ‘Kosovo and Metohija’ as in the letter presented in Belgrade, but in international relations exists a sovereign and independent country called the Republic of Kosovo,” the Kosovo government said in a statement.

Dacic told a press conference on Tuesday that the government of Suriname made its decision on October 27, and a diplomatic note was sent to Kosovo’s Foreign Ministry on October 30.

“Such a decision shows that one must be persistent, talk to everyone,” Dacic said.

He also vowed to continue challenging the recognition of Kosovo.

“This also shows that it's not all over,” he added.

However Kosovo’s Foreign Ministry said that it has not so far has received any official document about the alleged withdrawal of recognition by Suriname.

“Therefore, under these circumstances, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo refers only to the good spirit of friendly relations between the Republic of Kosovo and the Republic of Suriname and the Verbal Note on Official Recognition of this State, dated 8 July 2016, through which the Government of Suriname recognised the Republic of Kosovo as an independent and sovereign state,” the foreign ministry said.

The news about Suriname’s alleged decision to revoke its recognition of Kosovo independence came soon after a meeting in Moscow between Suriname’s Foreign Minister Yldiz Pollack-Beighle and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

During a three-day visit that ended on Tuesday, the two men discussed bilateral trade, economic and investment cooperation as well as military cooperation.

"We have a number of directions on which we can increase the economic component of bilateral relations," Russian news agency TASS quoted Lavrovas saying on October 31.

Tass also reported that Lavrov praised "very good coordination of the actions" of the delegations of both countries to the UN and other multilateral platforms, expressing gratitude to Suriname for agreeing to be one of the sponsors of the resolution on the non-deployment of the first weapons in outer space, which the UN General Assembly adopts every year on the initiative of Russia.

Russia has been one of Serbia’s strongest allies at the UN, backing Belgrade’s fight against Kosovo’s independence.

The Republic of Suriname recognised Kosovo as an independent country on July 22, 2016, becoming the 112th state to do so.

In August 2012, Suriname decided to recognise Kosovo’s passports and said that Kosovo citizens can travel visa-free to the former Dutch colony on the north-western coast of South America.

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