“Interpol, the international police agency, has rejected Kosovo’s membership for a third time, an outcome that the Balkan country said was disappointing and the United States described as a loss for ‘closing a critical security gap in the Balkans.’
In the first round on November 20, Kosovo’s application was supported by 76 countries, while 56 voted against and 22 abstained.
Since the two-thirds threshold, or 88 votes, was not reached, a second round was held, and this time only 68 countries voted in favor, while 51 voted against and 16 abstained.” (RFE/RL)
US Statement: “The Kosovo Police is a fully integrated and capable institution, with a demonstrated record of helping dismantle international terrorist, cybercriminal, narcotics, arms, and human smuggling networks. A majority of countries saw this and supported Kosovo’s application to join INTERPOL, in the face of a campaign, led by Serbia, to pressure countries to oppose Kosovo’s bid. Support for Kosovo’s INTERPOL membership was never about recognition of Kosovo’s independence, but about strengthening global law enforcement cooperation and closing a critical security gap in the Balkans. With this outcome, we all lose.” (US Embassy in Kosovo)
British Statement: “The UK is disappointed that Kosovo’s Interpol membership application was unsuccessful in Dubai today. Kosovo worked hard to make the case for its membership to Interpol member countries. Kosovo’s membership of Interpol would enable better information sharing between law enforcement agencies, particularly in the Western Balkans region, and would improve European and global security. Organised criminals already co-operate easily across borders: to fight them effectively, our law enforcement authorities need to be able to do the same.” (British Embassy in Kosovo)
US Ambassador to Serbia Kyle Scott: “As far as I’m concerned, it a pity for police because INTERPOL is the police organisation, it’s not an international organisation of countries. That means it will be more difficult for Kosovo to get an international warrant from Interpol. Considering that the police cooperation between Serbia and Kosovo is crucial, that (the decision) is damaging in the end.” (KosSev)
US Chargé d’Affaires Colleen Hyland (acting Ambassador):
Extremely disappointed at the outcome of the #INTERPOL vote. It was always about better security in the Balkans, Europe, and the world. With this outcome, we all lose. #Kosovo should remain focused on its European future and coordinated with its allies. https://t.co/fG1fiMGmU6
— Chargé d'Affaires Colleen Hyland (@USAmbKosovo) November 20, 2018
Kosovo President Hashim Thaci on Twitter:
Thankful to all countries for their vote for Kosovo’s membership in Interpol. Regardless of the negative outcome, now more than ever it’s clear we need final and comprehensive deal between Kosovo and Serbia to ensure mutual recognition and membership of Kosovo in UN, NATO & EU.
— Hashim Thaçi (@HashimThaciRKS) November 20, 2018
Kosovo Prime Minister took to Facebook:
“Today, Interpol’s General Assembly, at its 87th session voted against the Kosovo police’s membership in this organisation.
The Government of the Republic of Kosovo expresses its deep disappointment that Kosovo has been proposed to be part of the world police family, fighting transnational crime.
The wild campaign of the Republic of Serbia once again showed its character against Kosovo and against the idea of normalization reports with the Republic of Kosovo, the earlier, when this membership was technical and not political.
The vote against Kosovo’s accession to this international organization makes service only to crime and criminals, and no one should have to rejoice in this fact.
The Government of the Republic of Kosovo thanks all the states that voted for, as well as all those who tried to help, Kosovo in this important process.
Kosovo will continue consolidating its institutions and in a very close future will be a full member of Interpol.”
Serbian President Aleskandar Vucic: “That proves Serbia has strengthened its position, but on the other hand, we should not be euphoric. This is a success of a small, proud and defiant country, but the country which should not position its future on defiance and spite, but on a compromise.”
“My special gratitude goes to those states which have been under enormous pressure (to stop Kosovo’s bid).” “We will work to show how much we care about a compromising solution with the Albanians, but also to show that Serbia is not a country ease to degrade.” (N1)
“A statement issued by Vetevendosje said that Kosovo’s parliament should immediately impeach President Hashim Thaci and impose full economic and trade reciprocity against Serbia. The movement said that Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj and Foreign Minister Behgjet Pacolli should also be removed from their posts.
‘The only way that they can help Kosovo is by resigning. A large majority of the citizens would be pleased to hear that Thaci, Haradinaj and Pacolli resigned,’ the statement said.” (KosSev)