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September 2014
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Kosovo becomes full-fledged participant of Regional Cooperation Council

A meeting of the Board of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) was held today in Sarajevo. RCC, the main umbrella organization of regional cooperation in Southeastern Europe, numbering 46 members, welcomed Kosovo, by a unanimous decision, as a new participant with full powers in this body, which is considered as the main instrument of the EU pre-accession and regional cooperation.

Kosovo was represented by the Deputy Foreign Minister of Kosovo, Petrit Selimi.
As it was announced yesterday by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo, Enver Hoxhaj, today’s decision is historic because it opens doors to membership of Kosovo into several dozens of initiatives and funds, while the participation of Kosovo is equal and without discrimination vis-à-vis all participating countries.

Kosovo’s participation was previously limited by the UNMIK, while even after the agreement on Regional Representation Agreement last year between Kosovo And Serbia, there were attempts of resistance to Kosovo’s full participation in the RCC by claims of technical obstacles.
With today’s decision of the Board, which changed the statute of the organization and its founding declaration, to withdraw UNMIK’s reference and Kosovo to enter as a participant in this process, a completely new situation was created, where Kosovo now will have the vote and will be an independent participant. Today’s decision was welcomed by counries like the United States, Turkey, Albania, Sweden, representatives of the EU, and so forth.

Deputy Minister Petrit Selimi thanked RCC’s new director, Goran Svilanovic, and all the countries which unanimously supported today’s decision stating that Kosovo’s regional cooperation and inter-neighbourly relations are a priority for the people and government of Kosovo on the path towards European integration. Participation in RCC opens up new opportunities of membership and cooperation in various fields. Deputy Minister during his official visit to Sarajevo met with Stefano Sannino, the Director-General for Enlargement at the European Commission, Goran Svilanovic, director of the RCC and diplomats from Albania, Turkey, etc.

RCC was founded after te Thessaloniki Sumit, and, along with the IPA Fund of the EU, it is considered as a means of pre-accession and the umbrella organization of many regional initiatives.

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