Minister Hoxhaj presents MFA priorities to the Foreign Policy Committee of the Kosovo Parliament
Minister Hoxhaj presented the key priorities of the MFA to deputies, giving detailed information regarding the level of their realization and results, up to now.
Full conclusion of the process of recognition of the Republic of Kosovo
Minister Hoxhaj said that the full conclusion of the process of recognition of the Republic of Kosovo has been a priority for four years since the declaration of Kosovos independence. Hoxhaj made known that up to now, meetings have been held with 26 ministers of foreign affairs of countries that have not recognized the Republic of Kosovo. My activity is a global geography, there are states of Latin America which are very close to recognition, there are countries in the Middle East which are very close to recognition and there are countries in Asia, which are also close to recognition.
The Minister also said that the MFA had drafted a strategy last year, which has been reviewed this year, and he informed the Committee members about the plans, agenda and concrete strategy of the MFA, to end this process as soon as possible.
Hoxhaj emphasized that during 2012, Kosovo has been recognized by Haiti, San Tome and Principe and Brunei Darusaalam, and this year, it is anticipated that 4-5 states will publish their decisions on Kosovos recognition.
We have worked to the maximum, to this end, to push the recognition agenda and to fully conclude the process of recognition of the Republic of Kosovo, said Hoxhaj.
Kosovos recognition by five countries of the European Union
Minister Enver Hoxhaj informed members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, that he has regular contact with all EU states, at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
I can say that the reason why these countries do not recognize Kosovo is more about internal politics, than foreign policy, however in our daily communication, we try to inform these five countries of the EU in detail about developments in Kosovo and to present to them, detailed arguments about why they should recognize Kosovo, said Hoxhaj.
Kosovos membership in organizations, initiatives and regional, European and international mechanisms
Minister Hoxhaj said that MFA has a detailed agenda of requests for membership and Deputy Minister Petrit Selimi is dealing intensively with this task, coordinating all activities with the Kosovo Government, and he said that each minister and central and municipal agencies have officials with whom they communicate on a daily basis.
We have applied up to now for membership in 27 regional and European organizations, while we have positive responses that we can join seven political, financial, health, sports, and cultural organizations, said the Minister.
Minister Hoxhaj said that the MFA aims to strengthen genuine contact with countries of the region. He made known that during this year, the MFA has had four consultations and internal political dialogues with regional countries, with Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Croatia, and during this year, it will have a political consultation with all other countries in the region. It is our goal to have much more intensive cooperation in all fields with all these countries, said Hoxhaj.
Kosovos integration in Euro-Atlantic structures
The Foreign Minister stated that during 2012 he was able to meet 13 ministers of EU countries and during the visit of Prime Minister Thaçi to Washington, he met Secretary Clinton.
Hoxhaj said that in this aspect, there are three key objectives: visa liberalization, the swift and successful conclusion of the feasibility study which will lead directly to signing an Association-Stabilization Agreement, and transforming KSF into an army of Kosovo in 2013.
Minister Hoxhaj made known that up to now, the MFA has initiated strategic partnerships, defined in concrete documents, with various countries, such as the USA, Great Britain, Germany, Albania and Slovenia, anticipating other partnerships and stating that he is open to suggestions in this regard by the Committee on Foreign Affairs
The Minister informed Committee members that now a Strategy for Economic Diplomacy in the MFA has been drafted, and in close cooperation with USAID, which after broad consultations, will be lead by the Government, and serve as an orienting plan to this end.
Hoxhaj also informed the Committee about economic conferences held up to now, in Italy and Germany, and plans for holding such conferences in France, Hungary, Turkey, Switzerland, Japan, Holland, Sweden and the USA.
In this aspect, Hoxhaj said that the MFA had helped to publish various books and magazines sent to embassies and foreign states, and has engaged in a series of other activities aiming to promote Kosovo, internationally and Kosovos image in the world.
Establishing diplomatic relations between Kosovo and countries that have recognized Kosovo
Hoxhaj said that up to now, Kosovo has established diplomatic relations with 44 countries and during this year, intends to establish relations with another 35 states which have recognized Kosovo.
Signing bilateral agreements between Kosovo and countries that have recognized independence
Up to now, Minister Hoxhaj stated they have signed 86 agreements and many others have come into force. Hoxhaj said that in addition, in 2012, there were 90 new initiatives, 40 of which are in process in 34 different states.
He said that these agreements relate to political, diplomatic, economic, trade, education and cultural cooperation.
Summary document for foreign policy principles
Minister Hoxhaj said that the MFA has now drafted a document which sums up the principles of Kosovos foreign policy, which he gave to the Committee. Hoxhaj said that by June, the document will be fully drafted and it will be a short-term, mid-term and long-term orientation for Kosovos foreign policy.
Parliamentary diplomacy and communities
Hoxhaj said that the MFA has drafted an agenda of visits for the Parliamentary Speaker to various countries which aim to lobby for Kosovos recognition and to strengthen relations between Kosovo and various states.
He also emphasized the MFAs interest in strongly promoting communities diplomacy, to help in increasing the number of recognitions of Kosovo.
Embassy of the Republic of Kosovo
Minister Hoxhaj informed members of the Foreign Policy Committee about the work of the embassies of the Republic of Kosovo and full coordination of achieving priorities and objectives of Kosovos foreign policy.
He said that the MFA had managed to conclude the process of appointing ambassadors to Tirana, Skopje, Ljubljana and that the rotation process is ending.
Later Minister Hoxhaj responded to questions and the interest of members of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Kosovo Parliament, and engaged in an open discussion, expressing the will of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to strengthen cooperation in order to realize the objectives and goals of Kosovos foreign policy.