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Czech Republic turns down president’s suggestion to revoke recognition of Kosovo independence

Prague, Czech Republic – President Milos Zeman’s suggestion the Czech Republic should revoke its recognition of the independence of Kosovo has been rejected by the country’s top officials.

Czech Republic won’t change course on Kosovo independence

The Highest Constitutional Officials, a body that comprises the President, Prime Minister, the chairmen of both houses of Parliament, as well as the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Interior, said the Czech Republic would not revoke its recognition of Kosovo’s independence.

In a statement released following their meeting, which is hold roughly once every quarter to address the main foreign policy issues, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said they had all agreed the Czech Republic would not change its stance on Kosovo and its official recognition.

He nevertheless added that the circumstances of the recognition of Kosovo’s independence in 2008 was a cause for concern, as the decision was taken by the government despite the opposition of the Chamber of Deputies.

President Milos Zeman raised the issue in September during a state-visit in Serbia. “I’m not a dictator. But… I will ask the question whether [a reversal] can be done”, Zeman said during a press conference in Belgrade with his Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic.

Czech President sparks diplomatic spat with Kosovo during Serbia visit

The Czech President is known for his close ties with Russia and China, two countries that don’t recognize Kosovo an an independent state.

In reaction to the comments of the Czech head of state, Kosovo last month cancelled its participation to a Prague summit gathering Visegrad Group leaders and representatives from the Western Balkans.

A former autonomous region of Serbia mainly populated by ethnic Albanians and Muslims, Kosovo broke away in the 1990’s and officially declared independence in 2008. Despite EU-led peace-talks between Kosovo and Serbia, both countries have remained at odds with each other in recent years.

Five EU member states (Spain, Slovakia, Romania, Cyprus and Greece) haven’t recognized Kosovo’s independence.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.