Kosovo marks progress, if not universal recognition, on 10th anniversary

Kosovo marks progress, if not universal recognition, on 10th anniversary
From CBC - February 17, 2018

Kosovo is celebrating 10 years of independence from Serbia in two-day festivities that started Saturday amid reminders of the obstacles to the country's full acceptance.

President Hashim Thaci said during a panel at the Munich Security Conference that his country's decade-long history was "a story of success," but he lamented the European Union's lack of unity over Kosovo's status as a membership candidate.

"We are not yet a member of the UN, while our journey to the EU is far too complicated," Thaci said.

Five of the 28 EU member countries have not recognized Kosovo's independence. Thaci said through an interpreter that "if there were unity in the EU for Kosovo ... I am convinced that the state of Kosovo would be a more sustainable and stable country."

"Kosovo is the most pro-European, pro-American and pro-Western state in the Balkans. We are proud of this fact," he asserted.

Kosovo is recognized by 117 countries, including the U.S. and most Western powers, and has joined about 200 international organizations.

Serbia, which for centuries has considered Kosovo the cradle of its civilization, still sees it as part of its own territory and has the support of Russia and China.

Independence followed NATO campaign

In Serbia's capital, Belgrade, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said Kosovo's independence remains fragile and wo not be concluded without an agreement with Serbia.

"This is one unsuccessful experiment," Dacic insisted. "This is violence against Serbia, violence against international legal order."


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