Dacic: Sierra Leone 18th state to withdraw Kosovo’s recognition; Pristina: We have nothing to confirm

„Sierra Leone has withdrawn the recognition of Kosovo as an independent state,“ Serbian Foreign Minister, Ivica Dacic, who is on an official visit to this country, said today. Serbian President, Aleksandar Vucic also announced new withdrawals of Kosovo’s recognition from Washington last night. On the other hand, Kosovo Foreign Minister, Glauk Konjufca denied Dacic’s allegations, Pristina media reported.

Kosovo Foreign Minister, Glauk Konjufca denied allegations presented by his Serbian counterpart, Ivica Dacic that Sierra Leone had withdrawn Kosovo’s recognition, Pristina media reported.

„As for the case at hand, we have nothing to confirm. These are Mr. Dacic’s claims,“ Konjufca said at a press conference.

According to Dacic, this is the 18th withdrawal of recognition of Kosovo, while the Pristina Ministry of Foreign Affairs, even at the time when it was headed by Behgjet Pacolli, denied the majority of Belgrade’s allegations on withdrawal of recognition.

„It is my immense pleasure to show a note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating that Sierra Leone is withdrawing recognition of Kosovo as an independent state. The country will respect the results obtained from the EU-UN mediated dialogue,“ Minister Dacic said.

The Serbian diplomacy chief says that currently, out of 193 UN member states, 92 countries recognize Kosovo as an independent country, 96 countries do not recognize Kosovo, while five countries are in a fluid stance – they mostly recognize Kosovo, but no longer vote for it.

„This means that Kosovo no longer has a majority in the UN,“ Dacic said.

He stressed that this „withdrawal“ of Kosovo’s independence was of particular importance to Belgrade and recalled that Sierra Leone was among the first countries to recognize Kosovo’s independence back in 2008.

Dacic said that he had had successful talks with the President of the Republic in Freetown and that they agreed that bilateral relations, which had been at a standstill for years, should be improved.

„The president has instructed the Foreign Ministry to reconsider its position on Kosovo recognition,“ said Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, adding that President of Sierra Leone’s visit is expected in June, and the Foreign Minister of this country will also come to Serbia to prepare for the visit.

The new withdrawals of recognition were announced last night by the President of Serbia from Washington. He said that this would happen “shortly.” The news was initially announced on Sunday by Serbian Foreign Minister, Ivica Dacic. Dacic also revealed that he will be traveling to Africa soon, where he will negotiate with another country to withdraw the recognition of Kosovo’s independence. Dacic refused to disclose the name of the country in question at the time.

In addition to removing trade barriers, the Kosovo Prime Minister, Albin Kurti presented as a condition for abolishing the taxes for Serbia to cease its campaign of withdrawals of Kosovo’s recognition.

Belgrade, however, refuses to accept this condition, demanding that if Serbia ceases to carry out the campaign for withdrawal of recognitions, that Pristina must also suspend its campaign for new recognitions.

“And I told everyone time and time again that we are always ready to sit down when Albanians abolish their taxes and say ‘don’t ask for recognition, we will not conduct a withdrawal campaign,“ the Serbian president said in Washington last night.

Sierra Leone, located in West Africa off the Atlantic coast, is the 18th state to withdraw Kosovo’s recognition, according to Serbia’s allegations. The recognition of Kosovo, in addition to the latest withdrawal, was withdrawn or suspended by 17 other countries: the Republic of Nauru, Ghana, Togolese Republic, Central African Republic, the Republic of Palau, Madagascar, Solomon Islands, Lesotho, Suriname, Granada, Union of Chambers, Burundi, Commonwealth of Dominica, Sao Tome and Principe, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, and Papua New Guinea.

On the other hand, according to Kosovo MFA, 116 countries have recognized Kosovo. The last country to do so was Barbados in February 2018, and before that in Madagascar in November 2017.

Kosovo President Hashim Thaci recently announced that Kosovo has also been recognized by Jamaica. However, these allegations were denied the very next day by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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