Kosovo leader addresses Israel Council on Foreign Relations

In a speech before the Israel Council on Foreign Relations (ICFR), which operates under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress, Enver Hoxhaj, chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Relations of the Kosovo and former minister of foreign affairs and of education, spoke about Kosovo's desire to achieve recognition by the State of Israel.

Hoxhaj said that the rise of the State of Israel was seen as a model for Kosovo in its struggle for independence and expressed admiration for the achievements of the Jewish state in many fields of endeavor. He stressed that as a student at the University of Vienna, he had become well acquainted with the writings of Theodor Herzl and these had served as an inspiration to him and some of his compatriots.

Hoxhaj, a signatory to Kosovo's declaration of independence, was optimistic about Kosovo's use of "smart power" in order to achieve objectives such as further international recognition and dealing with outstanding issues with Serbia, from which Kosovo seceded. Regarding the former, he said: “Although Kosovo has yet to join the United Nations, it has already received recognition from 108 UN member states.”

On relations with Serbia, Hoxaj noted that much progress had been made in the last three years including bilateral agreements such as one on integrated water management; the opening of six border crossings; and the establishment of a Kosovo liaison office in Belgrade and a Serbian one in Kosovo's capital Pristina.
 

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