Europe

Serbia claims 4 countries withdraw recognition of Kosovo

Serbian National Security Council authorizes President Aleksandar Vucic to inform public about issue

Mustafa Talha Öztürk   | 14.05.2022
Serbia claims 4 countries withdraw recognition of Kosovo Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola ​​Selakovic ( Milos Miskov - Anadolu Agency )

BELGRADE, Serbia 

Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic said on Friday that four countries have withdrawn the recognition of Kosovo's independence. 

"Through the work of our security services, we have come to the information that at least two large countries are working to support Pristina on new recognitions and to prevent the campaign of withdrawing recognition," he said.

He said that the Government of Serbia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would "continue to fight fiercely" and work on withdrawing the recognition of Kosovo.

Kosovo's Foreign Minister Donika Grvala, however, said that Kosovo has no information that four countries have withdrawn their recognition of Kosovo.

Kosovo, which is predominantly inhabited by Albanians, broke away from Serbia in 1999 and declared its independence in 2008. Serbia has not recognized this and continues to lay claim to the territory. Kosovo also aims to achieve full EU membership.

"We are under pressure to accept the violation of territorial integrity, the violation of international public law, the legal order, to our detriment. The US Government, through a statement from the State Department, issued on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Washington Agreement, made it clear that the US considers the agreement valid and called on Belgrade and Pristina to respect the agreement,” Selakovic said.

He said by submitting the request for Kosovo's membership in the Council of Europe, Pristina has shown that it does not respect the agreement, as well as the position of the state that hosted the agreement.

After the National Security Council (NSC) meeting, Selakovic handed over diplomatic notes to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic from the countries and that the Council authorized Vucic to inform the public about the countries in question.

The NSC session was scheduled due to Kosovo's application to the Council of Europe.

Kosovo's Foreign Minister Grvala said Serbia should support Kosovo's membership in the Council of Europe if it is interested in Serbs, citizens of Kosovo.

In September 2020, Serbian and Kosovar leaders met in a US-sponsored two-day dialogue in Washington where they agreed to normalize economic ties.

Both sides agreed to freeze their diplomatic recognition/de-recognition campaigns for a year, Grenell said during the signing ceremony. 

Kosovo applies for European membership

Kosovo on Thursday applied for official membership in the Council of Europe.

Earlier in the day, Kosovo's government had approved the initiative to join the council and asked the Foreign Ministry to finalize procedures.

However, Serbian President Vucic accused Pristina of violating the Washington Treaty, Brussels Treaty, and UN Security Council Resolution 1244 by taking this step.

Vucic said the major Western countries were behind this application and that Serbia would do everything to politically respond to it.

The exclusion of Russia from the organization after the attack on Ukraine boosted Kosovo's prospects to apply for membership of the council.

Support from two-thirds of the member states of the organization, all of which recognize Kosovo in the absence of Russia, will allow the western Balkan country to become a member.

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