kosovo wants GCC, OIC help to counter offencive by serbia

The call for support was made by a senior Kosovar diplomat on the occasion of the formal opening of the country’s diplomatic mission here Thursday.
Rexhep Boja, the newly appointed charge d’affaires, said “even two Gulf states, Oman and Kuwait, have not recognized Kosovo so far.”
He said the Kosovo Embassy has started functioning from a hired apartment at the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh.
The mission is being manned by one Kosovar diplomat and two support staff. A total of 76 UN member states have recognized Kosovo as an independent country, including tiny European state Andorra.
Asked about the problems faced by his country in securing recognitions from OIC states, Boja said only a third of members have recognized Kosovo so far. He added that nonrecognition of the nation has been hampering free movement of citizens in OIC countries.
It is also creating problems for businessmen, he added. He thanked the Kingdom for recognizing Kosovar passports, enabling citizens to visit and work in Saudi Arabia.
Boja said the Kingdom became the 58th UN member state to recognize Kosovo two years ago.
“Although the long-sought goal of diplomatic recognition of Kosovo’s sovereignty is being achieved slowly and consistently, Pristina has failed to garner substantial support from the OIC group as a whole,” added Boja. He said the country was still not a member of the OIC because of the cumbersome eligibility criteria for membership. He said OIC membership rules stipulate that any nation wishing to join must be a member of the UN first before applying.
To this end, Boja noted the visit of Kosovo Foreign Minister Envar Hozhaj to the Kingdom last month when he held talks with Prince Saud Al-Faisal, foreign minister, on a range of issues and sought support for securing more recognition for Kosovo.
The OIC, on the other hand, has done too little, too late, he added. The OIC in its 36th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers in Damascus two years ago adopted a resolution that noted Kosovo’s declaration of independence, and the role of the UN in Kosovo. It also reaffirmed the strong interest of the OIC regarding Muslims in the Balkans, while welcoming the cooperation of Kosovo with OIC economic and financial institutions.
In the same resolution the organization called on the international community to continue contributing to the fostering of Kosovo’s economy.
“But, the OIC itself falls short of its commitment when it comes to convincing member states to recognize Kosovo and to generate support for its UN membership bid,” said an Albanian diplomat on condition of anonymity.
All these problems are also hampering business, trade, and manpower traffic between the OIC and Kosovo, he added. Some UN member states have expressed concern over Kosovo’s declaration of independence. The UN Security Council also remains divided on the issue. In fact, out of its five members with veto power, only three of them have recognized the country’s declaration.

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