Turkey has played a major role in convincing Pakistan to recognise Kosovo. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan(above) informed Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci about Islamabad’s decision even before it was officially announced. — File Photo by Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday officially recognised Kosovo as an independent state, almost five years after it declared independence from Serbia.

“The Government of Pakistan has decided to accord recognition to the Republic of Kosovo. The decision has been made in accordance with aspirations of the people of Kosovo,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.

Pakistan is the 98th country among 193 UN-member states to recognise Kosovo, which declared independence on Feb 17, 2008. Pakistan’s Ambassador to Turkey has been accredited to Kosovo as the country’s envoy.

Turkey has played a major role in convincing Pakistan to recognise Kosovo. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan informed Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci about Islamabad’s decision even before it was officially announced.

Turkey was one of the first countries to recognise Kosovo as a sovereign country.

Islamabad had supported Kosovo’s cause in the United Nations.

However, it always shied away from officially recognising it because of implications of such a move.

The unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo was seen as a precedent for resolving ethnic conflicts on considerations other than territorial integrity of countries. It was also feared that the Kosovo principle could at a subsequent stage be applied to other separatist movements.—Staff Reporter

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