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RECOGNITIONS DON'T STOP

Kosovo's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Enver Hoxhaj, said that by reaching the agreement in Brussels on regional representation Kosovo if moving towards strengthening it statehood in the Balkans, but also within the European Union. Hoxhaj stated that only sovereign, independent, equal countries are able to sign the agreements of stabilization association, which according to him, is expected to take place very soon. Chief diplomat Hoxhaj warned that during the month of March Kosovo will receive some new recognitions. "I am very sure that during this year more than half of the UN member states will recognize the Republic of Kosovo", stated Hoxhaj.

Enver Hoxhaj speaks for "Epoka e re"

- The agreement empowers Kosovo's statehood
- More than half of the UN member states will recognize Kosovo during this year


A few hours before travelling to an official visit to Brussels, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, Enver Hoxhaj, during an interview for "Epoka e re" on Sunday stated that the agreement reached in Brussels empowers Kosovo's statehood.  Hoxhaj stated that the strategic partners of the Republic of Kosovo, such as the United States, England, Germany, France and Italy, are the ones who back-up this agreement.  "Rest assured that reaching this agreement means strengthening of international subjectivism of Kosovo", stated Hoxhaj.

The Kosovar chief diplomat said that Kosovo is already moving towards strengthening its statehood in the Balkans region but also within the European Union.  Only sovereign, independent, equal countries are able to sign the agreements of stabilization association" "Hoxhaj stated. Chief diplomat Hoxhaj warned that during the month of March Kosovo will receive some new recognitions. "I am very sure that during this year more than half of the UN member states will recognize the Republic of Kosovo", stated Hoxhaj. "We will reach the critical decisive number of recognition of Kosovo" said Hoxhaj.

Hoxhaj also rejected any idea for border changes. "The issue of Kosovo's final status has been resolved once and for all through the negotiations in Vienna.  No one should have any dilemma concerning Kosovo's statehood, its independence and sovereignty, may that be internal or external sovereignty.  These topics have been closed once and for all" said Hoxhaj who will also be meeting with the Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs during his stay in Brussels.

"Epoka e re": Mr. Hoxhaj, the agreement reached in Brussels, could it be considered as a loss of Kosovo's statehood?

Hoxhaj: We certainly cannot use such perceptions.  The agreement reached last week and the support from our strategic partners, the United States of America and key countries of the European Union in the last 20 years during important periods of state-building, clearly show that we are strengthening Kosovo's statehood.  Through this agreement, from now on, with a very active politics, we will aim our membership in regional initiatives as well as in European mechanisms.

"Epoka e re": The opposition, however, is calling this agreement a step backwards since the name republic is not being mentioned.

Hoxhaj: The Republic of Kosovo is a geopolitical reality in the Balkans. There are 88 states who have recognizes Kosovo as an sovereign and independent state. The agreement reached is in full compliance with the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Kosovo.  Apart from the bilateral agreement which we've had until now, Kosovo will now participate also in the multilateral stage in institutions and forums, may those be regional or Europe wide.  If you have noticed the statements of the U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, of England Foreign Secretary, the German, French, Italy, Austria and of many other countries, one can see clearly that strategic countries of the Republic of Kosovo stand behind this agreement in backing this up. Rest assured that reaching this agreement means strengthening of international subjectivism of Kosovo.

"Epoka e re": It is being said that the agreement reach will be temporary. How long can such a reality of Kosovo representation in regional initiatives last?

Hoxhaj: Undoubtedly it is an temporary agreement, it is a temporary modality. The technical dialogue between the Republic of Kosovo and Serbia was properly understood in the beginning. We have never seen the dialogue only as an instrument in resolving issues of technical nature with the Republic of Serbia. We have seen this as an instrument which empowers Kosovo's statehood towards the European Union given the fact that five countries have not yet recognizes our independence. Kosovo was not able to have this contractual relation with the European Institutions as a sovereign and independent state. Baroness Ashton stated it clearly last week, and so did commissioner Fule, that Kosovo, apart from visa liberalization in trade relations and in the form of contractual relations, has also made another powerful step forward towards conducting a feasibility study in order to establish the stabilization association agreement. Only sovereign, independent, equal countries are able to sign the agreements of stabilization association. Kosovo is moving towards strengthening its statehood both in the Balkans region and the European Union and beyond.

"Epoka e re": When is the Stabilisation Association Agreement expected to be established?

Hoxhaj: I hope that the process of conducting a feasibility study is a matter of a very short time. I am very sure that Kosovo should be rewardeed with the stabilization-association agreement, which is also the only framework for the European integration of a country. It also is the only framework by which the European Union treats a particular country as a sovereign and independent country, by respecting its territorial integrity. Therefore, this agreement in fact has empowered Kosovo's statehood toward the European Union itself.

"Epoka e re": How will Kosovo be represented at the UN Security Council? Through UNMIK again?

Hoxhaj: Absolutely not. At the Security Council Kosovo was each time represented through the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as in the times when Skënder Hyseni was a minister, also in my time now.   So, representation was made as the Republic of Kosovo, as an independent and sovereign state. It is  a fact, however, that we receive invitations in order to discuss about the report of the UN Secretary General.  This way, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, anywhere he is, he represents the Republic of Kosovo as an independent and sovereign state, but in no way as UNMIK.

"Epoka e re": Today (Sunday) together with the Minister of Integrations, Vlora Çitaku, you will depart on a two day visit to Brussels. What is the purpose of this visit?

Hoxhaj: I will be staying in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday. We will be meeting several Foreign Ministers of the European Union Member States. Our main purpose is to strongly push forward Kosovo's European agenda. We will be massively insisting with regard to visa liberalization process, keeping trade relations, and also the quick commencement of the stabilisation association agreement.  We will also talk about the support which we received from these countries so that Kosovo will become a member in regional and European forums and institutions.  During this visit we will also be conducting meetings with several ministers of Foreign Affairs of those countries which have not yet recognized Kosovo, and which are members of the EU.

"Epoka e re": Mr. Hoxhaj, how much of an obstacle can the acceptance of the footnote be in increasing recognitions?

Hoxhaj: I will warn now that the Republic of Kosovo will receive some other recognitions during the month of March. I am very sure that the recognitions process will be successful. No one can stop the flow of history, no one can stop the state-building of the Republic of Kosovo and the strengthening of its international subjectivism. Recognitions are the priority of our foreign policy, but also our membership in international forums and organizations is our second priority alongside strengthening bilateral relations with particular states.
We are working intensively that this year the Republic of Kosovo will achieve a highest possible number of recognitions.  I am very sure that during this year more than half of the UN member states will recognize the Republic of Kosovo. We will reach the critical decisive number of recognition of Kosovo.

"Epoka e re": Upon reaching this agreement, some voices within the Kosovar politics but also beyond have revived in terms of redefining borders of the Balkans.  How do you view this issue?

Hoxhaj: The countries of the UN, the countries which have helped us win Kosovo's freedom, independence and preserve the territorial integrity of Kosovo remain and continue to support our country. The issue of Kosovo's final status has been resolved once and for all during the negotiations in Vienna. No one should have any dilemma concerning Kosovo's statehood, its independence and sovereignty, may that be internal or external sovereignty. These topics have been closed once and for all.

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