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Public Diplomacy

A three party project for improving Kosovo’s public diplomacy

Prishtina, 24 June 2011 - The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, Enver Hoxhaj, together with the Ambassador of the United Kingdom, Ian Cliff, and Director of the British Council in Kosovo, Arjeta Emra, signed an agreement supporting the project, “Communication with Europe through Diplomacy”.

This is a joint project between the Kosovo and British Governments, which will be implemented by the British Council to improve the process of Kosovo’s recognition by countries which have still not taken such a decision. The British Government, through its Embassy in Prishtina, will contribute 141,6588 Euro and the Kosovo Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will contribute 141,172 Euro, while the British Council will administer the project.

At the signing ceremony, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Enver Hoxhaj said that this project aims to promote public diplomacy as an instrument strengthening relations between Kosovo and states that have not recognized the Republic of Kosovo.

“Our approach is that the Republic of Kosovo should not just have good relations at the level of Government or the State with other countries, but also strong relations between citizens, society and state”, said the Minister.

Hoxhaj also said that this memorandum is part of our strategy to successfully conclude the process of recognition of the Republic of Kosovo by UN member states, with special emphasis on strengthening the institutional communication of the Republic of Kosovo with European states which have still not recognized Kosovo.

“This project will involve activities of advocacy, information and establishing strong channels of explanation, and will include eminent public personalities, civil society, media and genuine intellectuals, who will be able to assist the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Kosovo Government in representing, presenting and promoting our national interest concretely to increase the number of recognitions”, said Minister Hoxhaj.

He expressed his special pleasure that Kosovar diplomats will continue to be strongly supported by Great Britain through its Ambassador in Kosovo, Ian Cliff and the British Council, accomplishing this objective of great state interest to the Republic of Kosovo.

Minister Hoxhaj also confirmed that this project will be entirely managed by the British Council, and will have a program of activities, visits, meetings and an agenda which will be drafted by the British Council in cooperation with strong participation from civil society, the media and NGOs.

The British Ambassador to Kosovo, Ian Cliff, said that Great Britain has continually tried to increase the number of recognitions of Kosovo and that this issue is important for its Embassy in Prishtina.

Ambassador Cliff said that in various democratic countries which have not yet recognized Kosovo, it is important that as well as government relations, to convince the broader public of the importance of recognizing Kosovo.

“For this reason, the British Council network in various countries is very important, since this Council is not seen as a diplomatic instrument, but as an instrument promoting culture, knowledge of the English language and civil issues”, said Cliff.

The Director of the British Council in Kosovo, Arjeta Emra, said that the British Council as an implementer of this project will guarantee its inclusiveness and quality, emphasizing that public diplomacy affects not just the Government, but all Kosovar society.

“For us it is very important that through this memorandum, we give a chance to all sectors in Kosovo, including the media and civil society to be part of this project which will start to be implemented very quickly”, said Emra.
 

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