Kosovo failed in its bid to join Interpol on Tuesday in a vote held during the police organization’s general assembly session in Dubai, dealing a blow to the country’s efforts to boost recognition of its statehood – the Associated Press reports.
If it had been approved, Kosovo would have been able to request “red notices” from Interpol for the arrest of Serbian officials or figures that authorities in Kosovo consider war criminals.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic hailed the vote as a “victory” for Serbia.
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“I am proud of our country’s struggle,” he told a press conference. “I want to believe that this will be a clear, undoubted message to Europe and the world to understand that things cannot be solved with one-sided pressure.”
Kosovo’s government expressed disappointment, saying in a statement that “Serbia’s wild campaign shows once again its stand against Kosovo and against the idea of normalizing ties.”
“Voting against Kosovo’s accession in this international organization only serves … criminals and no one should rejoice,” it said.
Kosovo needed two-thirds of votes cast to be approved for full membership to Interpol. The body approved new member countries Kiribati and Vanuatu, bringing global membership to 194 countries.
Supported by its ally Russia, Serbia had been lobbying against Kosovo’s entry into Interpol. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia. The United States and most other Western countries support Kosovo’s statehood.
Both the US embassy in Kosovo and in Serbia expressed their dissatisfaction with Interpol’s vote. The US Ambassador to Serbia, Kyle Scott said that Interpol’s decision (not to admit Kosovo) was “disappointing” and that Serbia scored a “diplomatic win”.
(B92, AP, 20.11.2018)
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