Interpol rejects Kosovo membership bid

Source: Tanjug/MUP Republike Srbije

Interpol has refused to accept Kosovo’s membership bid in a vote at its general assembly in Dubai on Tuesday.

A two-thirds majority is necessary for a country to be accepted into the organisation. After the first round of voting, 76 Interpol states supported Pristina’s bid, while in the second round 68 member states voted in favour.

This is the third time Interpol has rejected Kosovo’s membership. The first time the bid was rejected in 2015, and the second time in 2016, while the country withdrew its application in 2017.

The Pacific states of Kiribati and Vanuatu did join the organisation on Tuesday, bringing the total number of member states to 194, the Beta news agency reported.

In a press release, Pristina said they were “deeply disappointed,” adding the rejection was a result of Serbia’s lobbying against its membership in that international police organisation, which is “technical, and not political in nature.”

Belgrade said this was a great victory for Serbia.

“This proves Serbia has strengthened its position, but on the other hand, we should not be euphoric,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told reporters in Belgrade.

Vucic thanked all the countries which voted against Kosovo’s membership and those who abstained. “But my special gratitude goes to those states which have been under enormous pressure” to vote in favour of Kosovo’s membership.

Ahead of the Dubai meeting, Belgrade often accused Western countries of lobbying for Kosovo’s Interpol membership, and for putting pressure on some states, especially some African countries.

Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008, but Serbia never recognised it.

The country was so far recognised by 115 countries, including Croatia, but its UN membership was vetoed by China and Russia.

It has, however, joined several international institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

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