Sun, 26 May 2019

Kosovo has failed for a third time to become a member of Interpol, the international police agency has announced.

Kosovo's application was assessed at Interpol's four-day general assembly in the the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai, together with applications from other states who want to join the 192-member police organization.

In an initial vote on November 20, Kosovo's application -- its third since 2015 -- was supported by 68 countries, while 51 voted against it and 16 abstained.

To become a member, a country must receive two-thirds of votes cast, excluding abstentions.

Kosovo's previous attempts to join Interpol in 2015 and 2016 were also rejected. In 2017, the Balkan country withdrew its application, citing lack of support.

Kosovo, which fought a war against Serbia in 1998-1999, declared independence from Belgrade in 2008.

Its independence has been recognized by most Western states, including the United States, but not by Serbia and Russia.

Accepting Kosovo as a full member on Interpol would allow Pristina, among other things, to distribute red notices for Serbian officials that Kosovo deems to be war criminals.

Red notices are alerts filed by Interpol to member states that identify suspects wanted for arrest by another country.

Interpol, which has its headquarters in Lyon, France, acts as a clearinghouse for national police services that want to hunt down suspects outside their borders.

With reporting by Reuters and AFP RFE/RL's Balkan Service

RFE/RL's Balkan Service promotes the values of democracy, human rights, and freedom of expression in a region where genuine media freedom remains elusive and where many media outlets remain divided along ethnic lines. Subscribe via RSS

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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