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News 27 Nov 17

Kosovo Slams Serbia’s 'False Recognition' Claims

Kosovo’s Deputy Prime Minister Enver Hoxhaj has condemned Serbia's Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic for claiming that Kosovo 'made up' receiving diplomatic recognitions from seven or eight countries.

Filip Rudic, Die Morina BIRN Belgrade, Pristina
Enver Hoxhaj, Kosovo Minister of Foreign Affairs | Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kosovo

Kosovo's Deputy PM Enver Hoxhaj has accused Serbia of launching an "aggressive campaign" to obstruct the recognition of Kosovo’s independence, as part of a "new foreign policy of fake news and hybrid warfare [aiming] to undermine peace and stability in the region.

"All countries that have recognised Kosovo have truly recognised our sovereign statehood. There is no dilemma on this matter," Hoxhaj told BIRN, accusing Serbia of using the topic to divert attention from its own role in the "genocides" it committed during the 1990s.

Serbian Minister Ivica Dacic told the Serbian daily Vecernje Novosti from Monday that at least seven or eight countries of the 114 states that Kosovo says have recognised it have not in fact truly recognised the former Serbian province.

"I am also certain that if Serbia dedicates itself to this issue, the number [of recognitions] can be reduced below a hundred," Dacic told Vecernje Novosti.

His interview came after Kosovo's Foreign Minister, Behgjet Pacolli, announced that Madagascar had recently recognised the state’s independence, declared in 2008.

Dacic said that some countries that have recognised Kosovo could re-examine their decision, but did not want to specify which ones.

He also claimed that countries that wish to revoke recognition of Kosovo – which Pristina insists is not possible under international law – face "threats" from Kosovo's "powerful [Western] protectors".

Kosovo’s independence is strongly supported by the US and recognised by all but five EU countries.

Recently, however, Serbia has given serious attention to whether Kosovo is recognised by countries including Suriname and Guinea-Bissau.

"We will continue our struggle. I have spoken with the foreign ministers of several countries which did not recognize Kosovo and their position is firm," Dacic told Novosti.

Hoxhaj, however, insists that the process of recognising Kosovo’s independence is irreversible by law.

"Within the first decade of independence, Kosovo is confidently reaching the target of obtaining diplomatic recognition from two-thirds of UN member states and has already secured membership in over 50 regional and international organisations," Hoxhaj told BIRN.

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