Serbian Government: Kosovo’s admission to the WCO prevented. Pristina: We have exercised the rights and obligations like all other members

The Serbian government announced that, during yesterday’s closed session of the World Customs Organization, it successfully prevented Kosovo’s admission to this organization. „he status of the self-proclaimed Kosovo in this organization remains controversial and frozen,“ said. Pristina, however, stated that the Kosovo delegation „despite the efforts of Serbia to prevent Kosovo’s participation, exercised its rights and obligations, like all other members.“

The Serbian Government also outlined the details from the meeting:

„The discussion on this agenda item (the admission of Kosovo) has shown that the WCO organization has contradictory opinions on the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo, and Serbia has received vigorous support from a large number of delegates. Representatives of Russia, China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Cyprus, Slovakia, Belarus, Georgia, Chile, Azerbaijan, Cuba and Indonesia spoke in favor of the position of Serbia. The support, in the form of written notes, came from Congo, Syria, Angola, Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka.“

They recall that the WCO Council has established a Working Group on issues related to the admission to the organization, which will, among other things, address the issue of Kosovo.

„The decisions of the WCO Council adopted in July and December 2017 are valid until further notice. The decisions which freeze the status of ‘Kosovo’, prevent full participation in the work and voting of the representatives of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government in Pristina until the Working Group Report and any new WCO Council decision on this matter,” officials from the Serbian Government added.

They also stated that the first proposals of the Working Group are expected at the next session – the middle of next year.

They added that due to the „division“ on the Kosovo issue, in the WCO, no protocols have been adopted in which the „self-proclaimed Kosovo is mentioned as ‘a signatory to the instrument of accession,’“ for a third consecutive year.

Different information comes from Pristina. The head of Kosovo’s diplomacy, Behgjet Pacolli, reacted on his Facebook page during the WCO meeting.

„Kosovo participates as a full and equal member of the World Customs Organization in Brussels at a meeting of the WCO Board. Despite Serbia’s efforts to prevent Kosovo’s participation, our delegation has exercised its rights and obligations, like all other members. I congratulate the election of Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya from Japan and the Chair of the WCO Council Enrique Canon from Uruguay. Our efforts for Kosovo to become a full and equal member of the international community will never stop,“ he said.

Kosovo was admitted to the WCO, the officials from Pristina announced at the beginning of 2017, while in July of the same year the Serbian MFA announced that the issue of Kosovo’s membership was „suspended until further notice“. Pristina later denied the news, and as evidence, they submitted a request for payment in connection with the membership, which also included Kosovo.



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