From: Exit Staff
Foreign Minister: ‘Political’ Ambassadors Damaged Kosovo’s International Reputation

Kosovo’s newly appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Donika Gervalla said that a large number of ambassadors appointed due to political affiliations damaged the country’s international reputation.

Therefore, one of the first steps is reforming the diplomatic corps, she told BIRN during an interview on Tuesday.

According to Gervalla, 70% of ambassadors have been appointed due to political affiliations and as a result, the country’s political establishment “is not taken seriously by countries throughout the world”.

Gervalla does not agree with the pledge made by the previous government in Washington DC for a one-year moratorium on applying to international organizations.

“The pledge made in Washington is a terrible violation of Kosovo law,” she told BIRN. “You cannot pause the integrity and constitutionality of a country in any situation. We are not an experiment, we are a sovereign state.”

She added that will not tolerate behaviour similar to that employed by Richard Grenell, the former US Presidential Envoy for Kosovo Serbia Dialogue.

“I am certain that if [other] Grenells come and request things like in the past, I will find ways and instruments to stop these methods,” she said.

Commenting the issue of Kosovo’s embassy in Jerusalem, for which the country received much criticism for not being aligned with EU countries, she said that there are no plans to reverse the decision.

“I think that the issue of our embassy in Israel is closed. We will not enter into diplomatic adventures over an issue that is ‘job done’,” she said.

However, Gervalla says that Kosovo as a small country will seek partnership with Israel, “but we want amicable relations with the Palestinian authorities as well”.

Gervalla said she intends to be active in the process of the EU-facilitated dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia.

Battling Serbia’s de-recognition campaign against Kosovo, according Gervalla is one of her three main priorities.

She added that developing relations with countries that have already recognized Kosovo as an independent country is another a priority, by also focusing on the five EU member states yet to do so.

Kosovo declared its independence in 2008, while five EU-member countries to not recognize its independence are Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Slovakia and Spain.