Sunday, 2 April, 2023

Kosova15 What's Next?

  • Güner Ureya
  • 17th February, 2023 05:04:22 PM
  • Print news

The Hon'ble Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, His Excellency Dr. AK Abdul Momen, MP, while delivering a speech in Shahabuddin Park Gulshan on the 100th Birth Anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, talked about the struggles waged in the Bangladesh Liberation War and before, as well as the challenges the country faced after independence. Hon’ble Minister remarked, "Once you become an independent State, great efforts must be done to be accepted by the international community. We have experienced these difficulties. The Ambassador of Kosovo is sitting across of us. Even though they have a lot of support from the most powerful countries like the USA, as a new country they still face the problems".  And it is entirely correct. We are going through similarissues and have enough will and energy as well as the support of our friends, to overcome these great challenges as you have done before.

Despite many challenges and difficulties, we Kosovars are immensely proud of the progress of our country and people. As a country, until June 1999, we were under the Serbian occupation and repression. After the liberation, with the support of the most part of international community including Bangladesh, Kosovo had transitional period of less than nine years. The Republic of Kosovo declared its independence on 17th February 2008.

The Republic of Kosovo, the youngest country in Europe, has advanced remarkably in every area over the past fifteen years.  Today we have a functional, prosperous, stable and multi-ethnic State with a diverse society and steadily growing economy. 15 years of independence can be assumed as a very short period for any country. Kosovo has scored many important achievements during this time. Among them, the most significant are the maintenance and strengthening of internal stability, the strengthening of democratic standards, the integration of the ethnic communities to the society, the maintenance of macroeconomic stability and continuous economic growth. Except for economic shrinkage caused by Pandemic in 2020, Kosovo has again achieved a growth trend. In the last two years, we have grown just over 13 percent in total. However, inflation as in many other countries but also the trade deficit have led us to still not achieve the economic indicators we desire. What is pleasing to us is that we have a trade surplus in some service areas. Particularly in the field of ICT, our companies are achieving great success. In addition, Kosovars living abroad are very generous and patriotic likewise Bangladeshis, and their remittances have a huge impact on the development of our country. On the other side, our global indicators of democracy and rule of law are developing very rapidly. In 2022, our national democratic governance rating improved. Also last year, Kosovo became one of the two countries that have made the most progress in the rule of law, along with its determination to fight corruption. The necessary infrastructure for development has also been largely established. We now have relatively good infrastructure and new highways that link us internally but also with neighboring countries. We are also developing new projects to develop railway network and energy capacity. We are always optimistic for a brighter tomorrow.

Throughout these years, beside general achievements we are also proud of the success of our people across all sectors, especially in arts and sports. Young Kosovar filmmakers have had significant success at prestigious international film festivals.We also celebrate the accomplishments of other young Kosovan artists.  As a country, we left some successful years behind in sports as well. Our athletes have won gold medals in numerous competitions, like the Rio Olympics 2016 and the Tokyo Olympics 2020, but also in the World and European Championships in different sport branches.

Along with success, we also encounter obstacles. Kosovo was reborn from its ashes with the end of the Serbian occupation and its efforts to exterminate the majority of Kosovars. But unfortunately, Belgrade, with the support of some destructive foci, continues to hinder Kosovo and the region instead of paving the way to the European future. A partition scenario is being prepared by Belgrade by exploiting a part of the Kosovo Serb community. In fact, these efforts are detrimental to everyone. 98 percent of the people of Kosovo are determined to protect the territorial integrity of the country. Around 2 percent of the population manipulated by Serbia, mostly in the northern part of the country, will sooner or later understand the facts and be fully integrated into Kosovo society. Kosovo will never be part of Serbia and will never be divided. Kosovo is a country of its people, of Kosovar Albanians as the majority community, but also of Kosovar Bosniaks, Serbs, Turks, Romas, Egyptians and others. Kosovo has made every sacrifice for the integration of the Kosovar Serb community into society and will not fall into Belgrade's trap. More than half of the countries have recognized the independence and they support the territorial integrity of the Republic of Kosovo. The majority of these countries are geographically close to our country, and they realized that the Republic of Kosovo case is unique and cannot be used as a precedent for other cases. In addition, they considered the peace and stability of the region as well as their own peace and stability. On the other side, the International Court of Justice ruled that the declaration of independence of Kosovo was not in violation of international law.

On the 15th anniversary of our independence, as the Ambassador of the Republic of Kosovo to Bangladesh, I wish my beautiful country to be recognized by all South Asian countries. With some countries which still don't recognize us we have good dialog, but this is not enough. We deserve and need official recognition. For example, Bangladesh, one of the South Asian countries, as well as Pakistan and the Maldives recognized us and now we have a friendly and very close relationship with them. We also want to establish diplomatic relations and develop cooperation with other South Asian countries, such as India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bhutan. It is not enough to just keep the communication channels open, we need to develop formal and concrete collaborations.

Despite difficulties and challenges, Kosovo will continue to strengthen itself, contribute to regional peace, integrate into Euro-Atlantic structures, and move forward as a respected entity of the international community. The Statement made by Honorable Minister Momen regarding the difficulties reflected our situation. Even if it is very challenging, we will continue to work for peace, happiness and prosperity of our people by continuing on our way like Bangladesh. Kosovo celebrates its independence anniversary on February 17th and Bangladesh on March 26th. Happy Independence Day Kosovo! Happy Independence Day Bangladesh! May our countries live forever!


The author is the Ambassador of Republic of Kosovo to The People’s Republic of Bangladesh