Saturday, August 16, 2014

Solomon Islands Now the 108th Country to Recognize Kosovo Independence

The Solomon Islands, an independent nation in the southwestern Pacific, just east of Papua New Guinea, announced August 13th that it was granting diplomatic recognition to the Republic of Kosovo.  It becomes (see map below) the 108th United Nations member-state to do so, following the similar move by the Republic of Togo last month.  The portion of the General Assembly recognizing Kosovo is now 56%, but its membership is effectively blocked by the Security Council veto power wielded by the Russian Federation, an ally of Serbia, which still claims Kosovo as its own.

The foreign minister of the Solomon Islands, Clay Forau (left), with his Kosovar
counterpart, Enver Hoxhaj (no relation to the former Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha)
The Solomons’ minister of foreign affairs, Clay Forau, announced after a cabinet meeting on the 13th, “Given the improvement of relations between Serbia and Kosovo and the need to broaden our relations bilaterally with other countries, it is important that we recognize the Republic of Kosovo as an independent state and to explore the opportunities Kosovo could offer for Solomon Islands.”

Countries that recognize Kosovo as independent are shown in green.
In addition to the 108 states referred to above, Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008, is also recognized by one non-territorial sovereign entity, the Sovereign Military Order of the Knights of Malta, and by one partially recognized non-member of the U.N. General Assembly, the Republic of China (a.k.a. Taiwan).  (The Solomons are also among the 22 nations—including six island nations in the Pacific—that recognize Taiwan.)  The rest of the world either explicitly or implicitly regards Kosovo as part of the territory of the Republic of Serbia, which still claims it.

[For those who are wondering, yes, this blog is tied in with my new book, a sort of encyclopedic atlas just published by Litwin Books under the title Let’s Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements and Aspirant Nations, from Abkhazia to Zanzibar.  (That is shorter than the previous working title.)  The book, which contains 46 maps and 554 flags (or, more accurately, 554 flag images), is available for order now on Amazon.  Meanwhile, please “like” the book (even if you haven’t read it yet) on Facebook and see this special announcement for more information on the book.]

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