Comment 01 Nov 17

Suriname Triggers New Phase in Kosovo Recognition Battle

The apparent decision of a Latin American state to revoke its recognition of Kosovo shows the diplomatic struggle over Serbia’s former province is far from over.

James Ker-Lindsay

Presidential Palace of Suriname. Photo: Wikimedia/Ian Mackenzie

It is hard to believe that it has been almost a decade since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, on 17 February 2008. At the time, it was an extraordinarily controversial move.

Ordinarily, the international community has a strong aversion to unilateral acts of secession.

Since 1945, only one country, Bangladesh, had managed to break away from an existing state and become a full member of the UN.

International opinion was divided over Kosovo’s statehood. Arguing that it was a unique case, arising from the break-up of Yugoslavia, and believing it to be necessary for Balkan stability, Kosovo was quickly recognised by the United States, Britain, France, Germany and many other Western states.

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