Kosovo fail to enter INTERPOL for the fourth time

Osamdeset i sedma Generalna skupština INTERPOL-a, Dubai, novembar 2018; FOTO: Tanjug/MUP R. Srbije
87th General Assembly of INTERPOL member states i Dubai, FOTO: MIA of R. Serbia/Tanjug

Kosovo is not a member of INTERPOL. Kiribati and Vanuatu were admitted as new members of the organization. INTERPOL now has 194 member states, without Kosovo, which has been actively lobbying for membership since 2015 and with the support of most Western countries. While North Mitrovica is celebrating this decision, the Kosovo officials are blaming Serbia. “Neither Serbia nor Kosovo have won, but evil,” the Kosovo Foreign Minister, Behgjet Pacolli said.

„This is the success of a small, defiant, and proud country, but a country that should not base its future on defiance and spite, but on a rational approach,“ Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said during an extraordinary joint press conference with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ivica Dacic.

Vucic, however, stated that Serbia should not humiliate Pristina in any way, adding that Serbia is a country which is not easily humiliated or stepped on.

He also thanked all the countries that voted against Kosovo’s membership, but also those who abstained from voting. Vucic stressed that smaller countries were under “tremendous pressure”.

„It is a small victory for us, we were up against a great force, or many great powers who wanted to pull us down, to destroy and humiliate us. We managed to preserve our dignity and our country, but everything that will not represent a compromise in the future, anything that will represent any kind of deepening or causing a problem to anyone will only be a problem for us and for our people, which we certainly do not want,“ the President said.

Although Vucic sent a warning last night that there will be no dialogue in Brussels until Pristina withdraws the „delusional“ decision on restrictions on the import of Serbian products, he sent an appeal to Pristina today, underlining that the EU should put pressure on Kosovo to respect the norms which all CEFTA member countries respect.

„As far as I’m concerned, they had a debacle,“ said Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic, adding:

„I’ve been saying this for a long time. I told them nicely – do not sign up, do not embarrass yourselves, do not sign up, you will have a debacle. I wanted to protect them from this embarrassment and now let them explain this to their people. “

He admitted that he will not be as reserved as the President:

„I cannot help but rejoice when I know who we were fighting against – the most powerful countries in the world, against lobbying, against giving money, against blackmail of countries that had a different attitude. And I want to thank all the countries that voted for us, that is, against the admission of Kosovo, but they did not vote that way only because of Serbia. They know that they are next in line. This is a victory of international law. They have to get back in line. We need to solve our problem, so that we can move further regarding some sort of status.“

Out of 154 voting members in the first round of voting, Kosovo received 76 votes in favor, while 56 INTERPOL members voted against and 22 abstained. In the second round of voting, out of 135 voting members, 68 voted in favour of Kosovo joining this international organization.

„I told Kurz the following: You are a clever man, what fool would take the loser’s side?“ Dacic said to Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

Dacic also criticized the Austrian Vice-Chancellor, Heinz-Christian Strache, reminding him that Serbs were the ones who voted for him in Austria and warning Strache that new elections will come again.

He stressed that Strache did not fulfill the promise he made:

“Your minister did not vote the way you told him to, you lied and deceived Serbs… Kurz is not better, I think he is worse, because he knows exactly what his policy is. He says – listen, we will not let them get the visa liberalization, but we want them to get into INTERPOL.”

Kurz and Thaci celebrated, well this is what they get

The Foreign Minister said that Albanians should not worry, as INTERPOL is „theirs“.

„They are already part of it, I said that many times. They are all on INTERPOL’s wanted lists. Therefore, they should not worry. INTERPOL is theirs,“ Dacic underlined.

Following three unsuccessful attempts, the General Assembly of INTERPOL accepted Pristina’s request to consider Kosovo’s application for membership in this international police organization this year. The cooperation between INTERPOL and Kosovo is being carried out through UNMIK, through which the wanted lists for Kosovo citizens are also issued, based on a memorandum with INTERPOL, which was signed in 2002. This cooperation was criticized in Pristina for being slow in the processing and exchange of information. Kosovo’s attempt to join INTERPOL failed in 2016 – at the annual meeting in Indonesia, along with an attempt by Palestine and Solomon Islands. During a meeting of the General Assembly of INTERPOL in China in September 2017, Kosovo decided to withdraw its candidacy. In November last year, the General Assembly postponed the discussion until the end of a study on membership.

Serbs in North Mitrovica celebrated upon hearing the news that Kosovo was not admitted to INTERPOL by forming a line of cars with Serbian flags which moved from the direction of North Mitrovica to Zvecan and back, followed by sounds of sirens.

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