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Foreign relations of Kosovo

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This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of

Political status of Kosovo

See also Portal:Politics    v  d  e 

On 17 February 2008, the Assembly of Kosovo, a body of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government under the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), declared independence from Serbia. This move was controversial among the international community. As of 19 May 2009, the Republic of Kosovo has been recognised by 65 UN member states and the Republic of China (Taiwan).

At present, fourteen states maintain embassies in Pristina; additionally, Liechtenstein's interests are represented by the Swiss embassy. Kosovo is also host to seven non-resident ambassadors, as well as eleven liaison offices. Russia maintains a liaison office with UNMIK.

The Kosovan government has allocated one million euros to establish a Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Skënder Hyseni has been requested to be the Foreign Minister.[1]



European Union

The European Union does not possess the legal capacity to diplomatically recognise any state; member states do so individually. The majority of member states have recognised Kosovo. To articulate a common EU policy of either support or opposition to Kosovan independence would require unanimity on the subject from all 27 member states, which does not presently exist. On 18 February, the EU officially stated that it would take note of the resolution of the Kosovan assembly.[2] The EU is sending a EULEX mission to Kosovo, which includes a special representative and 2000 police and judicial personnel.[3][4]


Estonia and Kosovo established diplomatic relations on 24 April 2008. Estonia, having previously announced readiness to recognize Kosovo's independence, officially did so on 21 February 2008.[5]


France became one of the first countries to announce officially about recognition of sovereign Kosovo, on 18 February 2008.[6][7] France has an embassy in Pristina.[8] Kosovo has an embassy in Paris.[9]


Germany recognized Kosovo on 20 February 2008.[10] Germany has an embassy in Pristina since 27 February 2008.[11] Kosovo has an embassy in Berlin.

Germany is the second-largest donor to Kosovo behind the U.S.[12]


Italy recognized Kosovo on 21 February 2008.[13][14] Italy has an embassy in Pristina since 15 May 2008.[15] Kosovo has an embassy in Rome.


Luxembourg recognized independence of Kosovo on 21 February 2008.[16]

Luxembourg has promised to give Kosovo €30 million over the next five years. Luxembourg said that the money was mainly for focus on professional training for Pristina and Mitrovica North authorities.[17]


Poland recognized Kosovo on 26 February 2008.[18]In September 2008, the Polish President, Lech Kaczyński, stated that the original cause of the 2008 South Ossetia war was not the Georgian operation, but the recognition of Kosovo's independence[19] and that he would block attempts to establish diplomatic relations of Poland with Kosovo at ambassadorial level; however, the government has not proposed to send an ambassador to Pristina.[20]


Sweden recognized Kosovo on 4 March 2008.[21] Sweden has an embassy in Pristina. Kosovo will open an embassy in Stockholm. On 8 March 2008, the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt became the first foreign minister to officially visit Kosovo since it declared its independence.[22]

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom became one of the first countries to announce officially about recognition of sovereign Kosovo, on 18 February 2008.[7][23] The United Kingdom has an embassy in Pristina since 5 March 2008.[24] Kosovo has an embassy in London since 1 October 2008.


Albania has offered Kosovo a $3 billion pipeline deal from hydropower stations in Albania, so that Kosovo can stay powered as the new semi-recognized state has not been fully able to sort out its power supply since becoming independent.[25]


Croatia became the thirty-first country to recognize Kosovo on 19 March 2008, and established diplomatic relations on 30 June 2008.[26] Croatia has upgraded its liaison office in Pristina to an embassy.


Macedonia recognized Kosovo on 8 October 2008.[27]


Montenegro recognized Kosovo on 9 October 2008.[28] Kosovo will open an embassy in Podgorica.


Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008, but Serbia doesn't recognize the country. Because Serbia claims Kosovo as part of its sovereign territory. Among its reactions, Serbia recalled its ambassadors from countries which recognised Kosovo for consultations[29][30] (the ambassadors accredited to European countries returned in July 2008[31]), indicted the Kosovan leaders on charges of high treason, and announced plans to litigate the case at the International Court of Justice. On 15 August[clarification needed], Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić officially filed a request at the United Nations seeking an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice. Serbia has a 351.6 km (218.5 mi)-long border with Kosovo.


Turkey became one of the first countries to announce officially about recognition of sovereign Kosovo, on 18 February 2008.[32] Turkey turned its coordination office in Pristina into an embassy after a cabinet decision to open a mission in Kosovo. The decision comes in accordance with the reciprocity principle common in diplomatic relations, when Kosovo announced that it was planning to open one of its first foreign missions in Ankara.[33]


Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso recognized Kosovo on 24 April 2008. In addition, Burkina Faso emphasized its interest to establish strong ties with the new sovereign state.[34]


Senegal is the first African country to recognize Kosovo, on 19 February 2008.[35]



Canada recognized Kosovo on 18 March 2008.[36]

United States

The United States officially recognized Kosovo as an independent nation on 18 February 2008.[37] Then U.S. President George W. Bush on 19 February 2008 justified recognizing Kosovo as an independent nation, saying that doing so will bring peace to a region scarred by war.[38]



Afghanistan became the first country to recognize Kosovo based on UTC, on 18 February 2008.[39] Sultan Ahmad Baheen, a spokesman from Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said "We support the determination of the people and recognize Kosovo's independence."[40]


Australia recognized Kosovo on 19 February 2008.[41]


Bangladesh originally declared that it will review the situation of Kosovo's independence and determine their actions afterwards. After a meeting between Fakhruddin Ahmed and James F. Moriarty, Bangladesh has shown intentions of recognising the new nation soon.

On 29 June 2008 the Chief Adviser, Fakhruddin Ahmed, during a meeting with the United States Ambassador to Bangladesh, James F. Moriarty, has affirmed that "Bangladesh will recognize the new European country". The Prime Minister also assured the US ambassador that "Bangladesh is committed to lobbying Asian Muslim countries to recognize Kosovo. Bangladesh will actively contribute to the development of Kosovo".[42] Bangladesh also sent its personnel to contribute towards the peacekeeping operations since the Kosovo crisis began and recently sent 120 policemen to the UN Kosovo mission.[43]


Japan recognized Kosovo on 18 March 2008.[44]

Middle East

Arab states

Only three of the Arab countries have so far recognised the independence of Kosovo, the United Arab Emirates on 14 October 2008, Saudi Arabia on 20 April 2009 and Bahrain on 19 May 2009. Skënder Hyseni met with the ambassadors of Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar and the UAE in May 2008 in Vienna. Qatar indicated they had begun the recognition process.[45] Later a dialogue has started in Kosovo between representatives from Kosovan and Arab civil society groups. However, this dialogue is opposed by the Kosovan government as some of the Arab representatives are dissidents in Arab states.

65 states have recognized Kosovo up to now. Saudi Arabia is the second Arab state to recognize Kosovo after the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia

According to the statement issued by Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry "In accordance with religious and cultural ties with the people of Kosovo, and in a sign of respect for the will of the people of Kosovo to gain independence, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announces the recognition of the Republic of Kosovo and hopes that this development will contribute positively to improving security and stability in Kosovo and its neighboring countries"

Saudi Arabia has participated heavily in the humanitarian missions in Kosovo.


Israelis have aided Kosovo refugees in the past, including establishing the only hospital for miles on Macedonia's border. Some Israelis have rallied in support of the Kosovan cause whereas others were in support of the Serbs.[46] The Israeli government has delayed recognizing Kosovo and chooses to monitor developments in the region and international community before making a decision. Some concerns include the fact the secession is unilateral, and that recognition may have implications on the Palestinian issue — an analogy the Albanian ambassador in Israel and the Prime Minister of Kosovo[47] reject (citing major historical and political differences) say that Israel need not worry.[48][49] Israel and Serbia also share increasingly close economic ties, and Serbia's ambassador to Israel claims he has been assured by Israeli officials that Israel will not recognize Kosovo.[50] However, Israeli officials indicate that recognition is probably just a matter of time considering Israel's closest ally (the United States) and other "influential friends" in Europe have recognized the new state.[51][52] The Prime Minister of Kosovo has publicly expressed admiration of Israel and called on Israel to recognize his country.[47] Israel supports the Contact Group principles.[49]


Although many countries have established diplomatic relations with Kosovo or taken steps to consider doing so, others including Russia and China have condemned her unilateral declaration of independence and criticised those countries that were quick to recognise her.

Map of states that have recognised Kosovo independence:      Kosovo      States which formally recognise Kosovo as independent      Other states.

Diplomatic missions

Offices in Kosovo

Since the Republic of Kosovo declared independence, from Serbia on 17 February 2008, countries that have recognised the new state have opened embassies. Kosovo is currently host to fourteen embassies. Additionally, Liechtenstein's interests are represented by the Swiss embassy.

Kosovan missions

Kosovo currently has 11 diplomatic missions abroad, while the Government is planning an additional 11 embassies for 2009.

Membership in international organizations

OrganisationApplication dateAdmission date
Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA)16 April 200626 July 2007[53]
Energy Community South East Europe Treaty (ECSEE)11 July 2006
European Common Aviation Area (ECAA)130 November 2006
Free Trade Agreement with Albania12003[54]
International Monetary Fund10 July 2008[55]29 June 2009[56]
World Bank10 July 2008[57]29 June 2009[58]

1 Kosovo (UNMIK) membership

See also


  1. ^ "One million euros for Kosovo Foreign Ministry", newkosovareport.com, 25 April 2008. – Link accessed 25 April 2008.
  2. ^ Elitsa Vucheva. "EUobserver.com". Euobserver.com. http://euobserver.com/9/25684. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  3. ^ "Serbia, Russia fury as Kosovo independence draws near". EurActiv. 2008-02-15. http://www.euractiv.com/en/enlargement/serbia-russia-fury-kosovo-independence-draws-near/article-170333. Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  4. ^ Renata Goldirova. "EUobserver.com". Euobserver.com. http://euobserver.com/9/25660. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  5. ^ Eesti sõlmis Kosovoga diplomaatilised suhted.
    Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs(Estonian)
  6. ^ "Kosovo declares independence". Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France. 2008-02-18. http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files_156/kosovo_6154/index.html. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  7. ^ a b "Kosovo Is Recognized but Rebuked by Others". New York Times. 2008-02-19. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/19/world/europe/19kosovo.html?ref=world. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  8. ^ Ambassades et consulats français à l'étranger
  9. ^ "Kosovo president signs decree for nine diplomatic missions". Xinhua News Agency. 2008-06-19. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-06/19/content_8396224.htm. Retrieved 2009-03-28. 
  10. ^ "Germany recognises Kosovo". German Federal Government. 2008-02-20. http://www.bundesregierung.de/Content/EN/Artikel/2008/02/2008-02-20-deutschland-erkennt-kosovo-an__en.html. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  11. ^ Deutsche Botschaft Pristina
  12. ^ http://www.bundesregierung.de/nn_6562/Content/EN/Artikel/2008/07/2008-07-11-kosovogeberkonferenz__en.html
  13. ^ ""Consiglio dei Ministri n. 93 del 21 febbraio 2008"" (in Italian). Italian Council of Ministers. 2008-02-21. http://www.governo.it/Governo/ConsiglioMinistri/dettaglio.asp?d=38401. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  14. ^ ""Kosovo, Italia riconosce indipendenza"" (in Italian). La Stampa. 2008-02-21. http://www.lastampa.it/redazione/cmsSezioni/politica/200802articoli/30334girata.asp. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  15. ^ "Italy appoints Ambassador to Kosovo" newkosovareport.com 15 May 2008. – Link accessed on 15 May 2008.
  16. ^ "Le Luxembourg reconnaît formellement le Kosovo" (in French). Le Gouvernement du Grande-Duché de Luxembourg. 2008-02-21. http://www.gouvernement.lu/salle_presse/actualite/2008/02-fevrier/20-asselborn-kosovo/index.html. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  17. ^ [""] newkosovareport.com 29 April 2008. – Link accessed on 5 May 2008.
  18. ^ Poland Recognizes Kosovo
  19. ^ Let's First Help Georgia, Then Talk about Russia
  20. ^ Poland won't open embassy in Priština
  21. ^ Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (2008-03-04). "Sweden recognises the Republic of Kosovo". Press release. http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/10358/a/99714. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  22. ^ Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt to visit Kosovo and Macedonia, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 6 March 2008.
  23. ^ "UK to recognise independent Kosovo - PM". United Kingdom Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street. 2008-02-18. http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page14594.asp. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  24. ^ "British Embassy in Pristina, Kosovo". Foreign and Commonwealth Office. http://www.britishembassy.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1163672154378. Retrieved 2008-05-09. 
  25. ^ "Albania asks Kosovo to agree on pipeline" (19 May 2008) Link accessed on 20 May 2008.
  26. ^ [1]
  27. ^ "Kosovo receives recognition boost"
  28. ^ "Montenegro recognizes Kosovo's independence". International Herald Tribune. 2008-10-09. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/10/09/europe/EU-Montenegro-Kosovo-Serbia.php. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 
  29. ^ "Serbia recalls ambassador from US". BBC. 2008-02-19. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7251802.stm. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  30. ^ "Canada recognizes Kosovo, Serbia pulls ambassador". 2008-03-18. http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/03/18/canada-kosovo.html. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  31. ^ "Govt. to return ambassadors". B92. 2008-07-24. http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2008&mm=07&dd=24&nav_id=52168. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  32. ^ "Statement of H.E. Mr. Ali Babacan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, Regarding the Recognition of Kosovo by Turkey". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey. 2008-02-18. http://www.mfa.gov.tr/statement-of-h_e_-mr_-ali-babacan_-minister-of-foreign-affairs-of-the-republic--of-turkey_-regarding-the-recognition-of-kosovo.en.mfa. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  33. ^ Turkey to open embassy in Kosovo
  34. ^ "Burkina Faso recognizes Kosovo". New Kosova Report. 2008-04-24. http://www.newkosovareport.com/20080424902/Politics/Burkina-Faso-recognizes-Kosovo.html. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  35. ^ "Senegal recognises Kosovo's independence: ministry". haaba.com. 2008-02-19. http://www.haaba.com/news/2008/02/19/7-93587/senegal-recognises-kosovos-independence-ministry.html. Retrieved 2008-03-14. 
  36. ^ ""Canada joins international recognition of Kosovo"". Canadian Foreign Ministry. 2008-03-18. http://w01.international.gc.ca/minpub/Publication.aspx?isRedirect=True&publication_id=385954&language=E&docnumber=59. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  37. ^ U.S. recognizes independent Kosovo
  38. ^ U.S., Britain, France back Kosovo
  39. ^ "The Statement of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on the Recognition of Independence of Kosovo". Kabul, Afghanistan: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Afghanistan. 2008-02-18. http://www.mfa.gov.af/detail.asp?Lang=e&Cat=2&ContID=562. Retrieved 2008-08-27. 
  40. ^ "Afghanistan recognizes Kosovo's independence". International Herald Tribune. 2008-02-18. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/02/18/asia/AS-GEN-Afghan-Kosovo.php. Retrieved 2009-02-28. 
  41. ^ "Australia Recognises the Republic of Kosovo". Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 2008-02-19. http://www.foreignminister.gov.au/releases/2008/fa-s034_08.html. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  42. ^ New Kosova Report - Kosovo to receive more recognitions
  43. ^ Bangladesh police contingent to join UN peacekeeping in Kosovo - People's Daily Online
  44. ^ ""Statement by Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura on the Recognition of the Republic of Kosovo"". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. 2008-03-18. http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/announce/2008/3/0318.html. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  45. ^ "Kosovo Seeks Arab Recognition". balkaninsight.com (Balkan Investigative Reporting Network). 2008-05-27. http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/main/news/10480/. Retrieved 2008-05-27. "None of the Arab countries has recognised the move, although some, have indicated that they have begun the recognition process." 
  46. ^ Israel divided on Kosovo
  47. ^ a b Adar Primor (14/02/2008). "Kosovar PM: Our independent nation will not be Islamic". Haaretz. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/954078.html. 
  48. ^ Israel won't recognize Kosovo, for now | Jerusalem Post
  49. ^ a b Tonin Gjuraj. "Kosovo deserves independence". http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1195546731795&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull. 
  50. ^ The case against Kosovo independence
  51. ^ Israel won't recognize Kosovo, for now
  52. ^ U.S. recognizes Kosovo independence as Israel delays taking stance
  53. ^ UNMIK - DSRSG Office for News and Communication (2006-11-10). "Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) initialled" (PDF). Press release. http://www.euinkosovo.org/upload_press/Central%20European%20Free%20Trade%20Agreement%20initialled.pdf. Retrieved 2008-04-09. 
  54. ^ Albania - UNMIK (Kosovo)
  55. ^ International Monetary Fund (2008-07-15). "Statement on Membership of the Republic of Kosovo in the IMF". Press release. http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2008/pr08179.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-29. "On July 10, 2008, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) received an application for admission to membership in the IMF from the Republic of Kosovo." 
  56. ^ International Monetary Fund (2009-06-29). "Kosovo Becomes the International Monetary Fund’s 186th Member". Press release. http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2009/pr09240.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-29. "The Republic of Kosovo became the 186th member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today when President Fatmir Sejdiu and Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi signed the IMF’s original Articles of Agreement at a ceremony in Washington D.C." 
  57. ^ World Bank (2008-07-15). "Kosovo Application for Membership in World Bank". Press release. http://go.worldbank.org/T609AJ7AV0. Retrieved 2009-06-29. "In the letter dated July 10, 2008, Kosovo applied for membership in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Development Association, the International Finance Corporation, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes." 
  58. ^ World Bank (2009-06-29). "Kosovo Joins World Bank Group Institutions". Press release. http://go.worldbank.org/7JV00GA8P0. Retrieved 2009-06-29. "The Republic of Kosovo became the newest member of the five World Bank Group institutions today, when Kosovar President Fatmir Sejdiu and Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi signed the Articles of Agreement of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)." 


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