Interview of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, Behgjet Pacolli, for the Spanish state news agency EFE, has been echoing in the Latin American and European media.
One of the most widely read newspapers in Spain, La Vanguardia, in a long article dedicated to the interview of Minister Pacolli, titled: "Kosovo reiterates that its case is distinct to that of Catalonia", among others, writes that "Pacolli expresses his confidence of Spain's prompt recognition of his country's independence", and that Kosovo's case is not "comparable" to that of Catalonia.
Minister Pacolli's interview was also given great importance by the European media itself. Deutsche Welle, in an article published in its Spanish version titled: “Kosovo believes in reaching an agreement with Serbia, in order to secure its entry in EU ", Minister Pacolli is quoted saying "We will have an agreement with Serbia, which will have to admit that Kosovo exists and it is an independent state, and Kosovo will have to admit that Serbia is our neighbor, important for peace and prosperity in the Balkans”.
The Panamanian newspaper, La Estrella de Panama, in its article titled "Kosovo seeks to overcome the blockade to enter the EU", writes that Minister Pacolli hopes that Spain, one of the five EU countries that has not recognized Kosovo's independence, "will soon recognize it - if not today, tomorrow”.
The interview was also published at RCNRadio of Colombia, on the US TV Magazine portal, in the YAHOO corporate news section in Spanish etc.
Below you can find Minister Pacolli's full interview:
Kosovo reiterates that its case is distinct to that of Catalonia
Minister of the Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kosovo, Behgjet Pacolli, expressed his confidence of Spain's prompt recognition of his country's independence", and that Kosovo's case is not "comparable" to that of Catalonia.
In an interview for EFE, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of proclamation of independence from Serbia, Pacolli highlighted that “what is happening in Kosovo is not comparable to what is happening in Spain - it is completely different”.
“We are confident that Spain will know how to quickly resolve this problem”, said the Minister, adding that “nobody in Kosovo has ever considered comparing Spain’s situation or that of Catalonia; it cannot be compared to Kosovo - they are two different issues”.
“Even though some think that Spain is against Kosovo, we regard Spain as a friend country”, he highlighted.
“And I believe it will happen (recognition of independence), if not today, tomorrow since Kosovo has done nothing against Spain so that, so to speak - in quotation marks- it would hate Kosovo”, he clarified.
Despite, the obvious evil that is being caused to Kosovo by Spain's increasing barrier for its presence in international organizations since political tensions have worsened because of the separatist challenge in Catalonia, Pacolli shows off his best diplomatic face.
Having recently returned from Germany, from attending the Munich Security Conference, Pacolli today will attend the 10th anniversary celebration of his country's independence in Pristina, which will be accompanied by a series of interviews and other institutional acts.
“We have friends from Spain - the soldiers whom we had a fantastic experience with”, recalls Pacolli, referring to the deployment of the NATO-led KFOR mission, in which participated about 22,000 Spanish soldiers between June 1999 and September 2009.
“No one in Kosovo may understand why Spain opposes our independence”, the minister insisted, reiterating his difficulty in understanding the Spanish attitude, which coincides with that of Russia or China, in addition to Serbia's own opinion.
Despite this, Pacolli invites Spanish businessmen to invest in his country which, according to him, after ten years of independence has achieved improvements in infrastructure, adding that there is a very young population, with a global vision that speaks foreign languages and that has attractive capacities for businessmen.
He is optimistic about the possibility of reaching an agreement with neighbouring Serbia, adding that “Our independence is the result of a war”.
Pacolli defends the international procedure of this declaration of independence (which is now recognized by more than a hundred countries, and finally Barbados), reiterating that it was “not unilateral”, and that its legitimacy has already been confirmed.
“The talks with Serbia have been going on for almost twenty years and I think that this time the dialogue will be a bit different, it will be limited in time, and the tasks will be very well defined”, underlined Pacolli, explaining his vision of the possibility to reach this agreement, which would facilitate the candidacy of his country's eventual membership in the European Union.
“I hope that this year will end with the Statement of these talks and that we have an agreement with Serbia, which will have to admit that Kosovo exists and it is an independent country and that Kosovo recognizes that Serbia is our neighbour, important for peace and prosperity in the Balkans”, he added.
Likewise, the dispute with Montenegro - the other neighbour, with whom Kosovo has some border differences, may end by with a decision from Kosovo's President, Hashim Thaci to now propose the parliamentary approval of the agreement.
This is one of the conditions of the European Union, together with the fight against corruption, to accept the review of Kosovo's candidacy.
Although acknowledging the complexity of some economic variables, such as the unemployment rate, which is about 25 per cent (estimated by UNDP up to 58 per cent in young people), Pacolli assures that by the end of this year, the expected growth of 4.5 per cent, of the GDP, will be exceeded, “to more than 5 per cent”.
Pacolli considers that his country, which regularly participates in the meetings of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is “almost, de facto, a member” of NATO and adds that “it is prepared for any challenge”.
He does not consider that Kosovo is particularly threatened or threatened more than Europe, although (albeit with a predominantly Muslim population) it is targeted as a jihadist exporter from the Western secret service.
He asserted that the number of Kosovar members of the terrorist group Islamic State was “less than 160”, “however today there are none” found amongst this group.
Nevertheless, he says he has to “help some families return to their homes”.