By Houda Mzioudet.
Tripoli, 26 September 2013:
Libya has officially recognised the state of Kosovo. The announcement was made yesterday by Ali Zeidan during his meeting in New York with Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci on the sidelines of the 68th UN General Assembly. Prime Minister Zeidan said that both countries would have diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level.
However, he said that ”the recognition of Kosovo will not prejudice Libya’s close ties with the Republic of Serbia”. Libya wanted to further strengthen relations with Belgrade, he said.
Zeidan also highlighted the “the spirit of Islamic brotherhood between Libya and Kosovo”, pointing to the “political developments in the Balkan region, that gave people of Kosovo the right to self-determination”.
From his part, Thaçi expressed his “gratitude and appreciation to the government and people [of Libya] on their support and assistance of Kosovo by this recognition.
Libya is the 107th country to recognise Kosovo.
It declared independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008, however it is not a member of the UN. Some 84 countries still do not recognise it, among them Russia and China, which can block its UN membership.
Yesterday, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic told UN General Assembly that Serbia had not “legally nor factually recognised the independence of Kosovo” and that an interim agreement with Pristina did not mean that Belgrade “intends to accept the admission of Kosovo into the UN and other international organisations”.