Australia recognizes Kosovo

February 19th, 2008 - 6:43 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, Feb 19 (DPA) Australia formally recognized Kosovo and would soon establish diplomatic relations, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith said Tuesday. Belgrade is expected to respond by recalling Serbian Ambassador to Australia Milivoje Glisic.

Glisic said he did not anticipate a permanent severance of diplomatic relations between Australia and Serbia.

“We are sorry about that decision, and such hurry, since we have traditionally good relations with Australia,” he said.

“Belgrade will not cut diplomatic ties with Australia. I suppose I will be called back to Belgrade for the consultations, as it has already been done with the Serbian ambassadors in states which have recognized the unilaterally declared and illegal independence of Kosovo and Metohija.”

Metohija refers to the southwest region of Kosovo.

While the move won favour with the Albanian immigrant community, Michael McKinley from the Australian National University said it could put Australia offside with Russia, China, Romania, Spain and other countries concerned at the precedent being set.

McKinley said the government ought to have waited until the UN Security Council met before recognizing Kosovo.

“It also basically sidelines the United Nations, which is something I didn’t think this government was going to be particularly interested in,” he said.

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