Kosovo Issue Unclear to Arabs

Local analysts and legislators and academics from the Arab states agree that their nations should pursue improved relations, with Kosovo proffering informition on its history and reasons for declaring independence.

These were the findings of a conference held at the Club for Foreign Policy (KPJ), in Pristina on Wednesday.

“Most Arabs think of Kosovo as NATO’s creature, supported by the US, and you have to show them the reality, what happened, and also describe to them all the sacrifices you endured to achieve independence,” said Oraib Mohammad Alrtatawi, head of the Al Quds Centre in Jordan.

Alrtatawi stressed the importance of maintaining a steady and open relationship between Kosovo and Arab states, which would lead the latter to recognise Kosovo’s independence, he said.

“However, recognition is not enough, since we also need to build good relations in many fields,” he said.

Egyptian MP Gamal Zahran expressed his personal disappointment with the political hesitation that Arab states have shown with regard to Kosovo’s independence.

“I am surprised […] that only four Arab states have recognised Kosovo. Even before you declared your independence, I thought they would be the first to recognise it,” said Zahran.

Kosovo needs to distance itself from the international relations record of the former Yugoslavia, he argued.

Dr. Muhammad Mufaku, lecturer at the University of Jordan, expressed his concerns about the international channels Serbia has used recently, and the lack of Albania’s involvement in his region.

“It is paradoxical that Belgrade still manipulates the Non-Aligned Movement, while Albania does not make use of its diplomatic resources in the Middle East,” said Mufaku.

Xhabir Hamiti, from the University of Islamic Studies, said he expects “more solidarity from these states,” and that the number of Arab state’s recognising Kosova’s independence was “symbolic compared to expectations”.

A similar debate was organised last year in Amman, Jordan, at the Al Quds Centre.

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