Kosovo seeks to join Europe’s top human rights organization

May 11, 2022, 3:23 PM | Updated: May 12, 2022, 5:31 am

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — The government of Kosovo formally applied Thursday for membership of the Council of Europe, the continent’s top human rights organization.

Neighboring Serbia, from which Kosovo seceded after a war in the late 1990s and which doesn’t recognize its former province’s independence, expressed opposition to the bid.

The Council of Europe, or CoE, which has 46 member nations — including Serbia — already has an office in Kosovo to assist with democratic reforms.

Kosovo’s government said in a statement that the small Balkan country already has ratified the relevant conventions for joining the organization.

“Human rights and elementary freedom are guaranteed” by Kosovo’s constitution, the statement said.

Foreign Minister Donika Gervalla-Schwarz handed over the application at the CoE’s headquarters in Strasbourg, France.

She said Kosovo is the most “democratic, pro-European and optimistic” country in the region. “That is why Kosovo deserves to be a Council of Europe member the soonest possible.”

A bloody 1998-1999 conflict between Serbia and ethnic Albanian separatists in Kosovo, then a Serbian province, left more than 13,000 dead and 1,617 people still missing. NATO’s intervention in the form of a bombing campaign on Serbia ended the war.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a move recognized by 117 countries, including the United States and most EU nations. Serbia has refused to recognize Kosovo as separate nation after 11 years of European Union-brokered negotiations.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic called a session of the CoE’s top security body in response to Kosovo’s application. He said Kosovo’s “mentors” in the West are behind the move, adding that Serbia would respond in a diplomatic and peaceful way.

“We are just a small, freedom-loving country which wants to preserve its sovereignty and the right to decision-making,” he said.

In November 2015, Kosovo failed to become a member of U.N. cultural organization UNESCO after Belgrade lobbied against the application. But Kosovo joined international soccer body FIFA in May 2016.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy answers questions after his legal...
Luis Andres Henao, The Associated Press

After Supreme Court backs Bremerton praying coach, no sweeping changes

Three months after the decision, there’s no sign that large numbers of coaches have been newly inspired to follow Joseph Kennedy’s high-profile example.
10 hours ago
(Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

GOP candidate apologizes after antisemitic post surfaces

A GOP candidate for the Washington Legislature has acknowledged that a post he put on social media in 2020 is antisemitic.
10 hours ago
Associated Press

84-year-old Michigan anti-abortion canvasser shot, wounded

ODESSA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A man shot and wounded an 84-year-old Michigan woman who was canvassing door-to-door against a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right to abortion in the state. The State Police are investigating the Sept. 20 shooting at a home in Odessa Township, a community about 130 miles (209 kilometers) […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Case against source for Trump dossier advances, barely

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A judge is allowing prosecutors to move forward with their criminal case against an analyst who provided key details for a flawed dossier on ex-President Donald Trump, although the judge called his decision “an extremely close call.” Lawyers for Igor Danchenko asked a judge Thursday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria […]
1 day ago
People walk toward the border crossing at Verkhny Lars between Georgia and Russia leaving Chmi, Nor...
Associated Press

Russia opens more border draft offices amid call-up exodus

Russian authorities are opening more military enlistment offices near Russia’s borders in an apparent effort to intercept some of the men of fighting age who are trying to leave Russia by land to avoid getting called up to fight in Ukraine. A new draft office opened in the Saratov region, at the Ozinki checkpoint on […]
1 day ago
This cover image released by Columbia Records shows "Only the Strong Survive" by Bruce Springsteen,...
Associated Press

Springsteen takes on Temptations, Supremes, Four Tops

NEW YORK (AP) — Bruce Springsteen takes on the Four Tops, Temptations, Supremes, Frankie Wilson, Jimmy Ruffin and other soul legends in an album of cover songs due out next month. The disc “Only the Strong Survive” is named for the Jimmy Butler song, among the 15 other cover songs, which will be released on […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Kosovo seeks to join Europe’s top human rights organization