By Gordana Andric
At least two Non-Aligned countries are revoking their recognition of Kosovo’s independence in the light of the Non-Aligned summit in Belgrade, Serbia’s Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic claims.
Serbia is claiming that its campaign to reverse the flow of recognitions of Kosovo’s independence at the Non-Aligned summit in Belgrade has had tangible success.
Foreign Minister Jeremic said the list of countries that have recognised Kosovo independence will now have to be cut by two, largely thanks to Belgrade’s decision to host the movement’s 50th anniversary summit.
“Two members of the NAM [Non-Aligned Movement] have informed us that they have launched procedures to revoke their recognitions [of Kosovo],” Jeremic told the Belgrade news agency Tanjug, without naming them.
At the same time, Jeremic named two other NAM member countries that have now denied they reportedly recognised Kosovo.
Jeremic said that representatives of Oman in the Gulf and Guinea Bissau in west Africa had assured him that their countries never recognised Kosovo, in spite of media reports to the contrary.
“A note from Oman has informed us that Oman’s position on Kosovo has not changed,” Jeremic said, adding that Guinea Bissau’s Foreign Minister had told him this country had never started procedures for recognising Kosovo independence.
Kosovo’s Foreign Ministry website counts Oman as the 75th country that has recognised the former Serbian province’s independence.
Kosovo’s deputy Foreign Minister, Petrit Selimi, has since replied on Twitter, clarifying that Oman never actually recognised the country, while saying that Guinea Bissau indubitably did.
“Oman never recognised us …[but] they sent warm letter, wishing us to enter the UN, while Guinea Bissau sent a perfectly clear verbal note of recognition,” Selimi said on Tweeter.
Jeremic hailed the revocations of recognitions as “very good news”, noting that this was the first time that the number of states recognising Kosovo had fallen.
Jeremic added that he now expected more countries will withdraw recognition of Kosovo.
“This fight will continue, it is far from being over. There will be ups and downs but in any case we won’t give up on our diplomatic activity,” Jeremic said.
Since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, 81 countries have recognised it, though this figure includes Oman. Among them are the US and 22 of the 27 EU member states.
The last reported recognitions came in August, when in three days, from August 16 to 19, when four countries, Niger, Benin, St Lucia and Guinea Bissau, were said to have announced their recognitions.