Kosovo's prime minister says he expects his country’s membership of various regional and international level organizations to help further strengthen regional cooperation, and serve as an important precondition for European Union (EU) membership.
In an exclusive interview with the Anadolu Agency (AA) in New York on Monday, Hashim Thaci responded to Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic's criticism that “Pristina is misusing the Brussels Agreement” to move toward unilateral state independence.
Kosovo has been recognized by more than half of the United Nations' 193 member states, said Thaci, in New York to attend the United Nations Security Council's quarterly meeting on Kosovo: And this is a fact that cannot be ignored.
Thaci underlined that a special European Parliament resolution had been adopted to give his country “great political support” in calling on five of the remaining 28 EU member states still to recognize Kosovo to act in Pristina's favour.
“We are working very closely with Spain, Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Cyprus,” Thaci said, adding that he hoped it would happen in the near future.
With the Sochi Winter Olympics less than one week in, Thaci added that the two-decade isolation of Kosovo athletes is now “partially ended.” After meetings with leaders of the Football Federations of Kosovo and Serbia, world football's governing body FIFA is also allowing Kosovo to play international matches.
“We consider this as an important first step towards the full membership in sports mechanisms of European and world football. We have even better developments from the Executive Committee of the European Handball Federation, which allows Kosovo to play international matches without any conditions,” he said.
“Independence of Kosovo is the fact of reality de facto and de jure. The independence is recognized by 105 countries and we work very hard for EU, NATO integration and UN membership. We are very reasonable in the process of dialogue for normalization of the relations between Republic of Kosovo and Serbia. We are also very active and dynamic being very eager to implement what we have achieved in Brussels. It means we will continue to be very constructive,” Thaci told AA.
From New York, Thaci says he will fly to Brussels, where he will meet with the Serbian leader and his deputy (vice-premier) Aleksandar Vucic on Wednesday for a new round of talks, in which particular emphasis will fall on Kosovo's justice system.
“I hope that with the active role of Lady (Catharine) Ashton we can achieve a new agreement for the implementation (of the improvements) in the justice and constitution law for Kosovo.”
Thaci expressed hope that the Brussels dialogue will speed up relations.
“(Then) we can strengthen EU standards for visa liberalization and (make) further advancements of negotiations on the Stabilization and Association Agreement process.”
Thaci stressed that integration into the EU is Kosovo's “primary goal” as ”the only way of modernizing and consolidating the region into the European family.”
AALast Mod: 11 Şubat 2014, 14:30